Goshen lawn care and snow removal business owners ordered to pay over $1 million


Date: January 29, 2021

Contact: newsroom@ci.irs.gov

SOUTH BEND — Michael Closson and Laquita Closson, of Goshen, Indiana, were sentenced yesterday by United States District Court Judge Jon E. DeGuilio.

According to documents in this case, Mr. and Mrs. Closson are married and own a lawn care and snow removal business in Goshen, Indiana. They were sentenced after each pleading guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States. Mr. Closson also pleaded guilty to an additional count of tax evasion.

The Clossons were ordered to pay in restitution $662,027.00 to the IRS; $298,300.75 to the Indiana Department of Revenue; and $64,732.39 to Medicaid. In addition to the restitution, Mr. Closson was sentenced to prison and Mrs. Closson was sentenced to home detention.

During tax years 2012 through 2016, the Clossons intentionally concealed their income from the IRS by filing false joint income tax returns that underreported their actual income. The Clossons failed to report more than $2 million dollars in gross receipts, which resulted in them evading more than $600,000 in federal income taxes and almost $300,000 in state income taxes. The Clossons also submitted false Medicaid application forms that allowed them to unlawfully receive nearly $65,000 worth of Medicaid benefits. The Clossons own two homes, a timeshare, over $10,000 worth of luxury handbags, and four vehicles, including a Lamborghini and a Cadillac Escalade.

"Honest and law abiding taxpayers are fed up with the likes of those who use deceit and fraud to line their pockets with other people's money as well as skirt their tax obligations," said Tamera Cantu, IRS Criminal Investigation, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Chicago Field Office. "Today's sentencing is a direct result of IRS Criminal Investigation working together with the Northern District of Indiana U.S. Attorney's office to protect America's honest, hard-working taxpayers," said Cantu.

The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Luke N. Reilander.