Williamsburg businessman sentenced for tax fraud


Date: April 21, 2022

Contact: newsroom@ci.irs.gov

A Williamsburg, Virginia, man was sentenced April 20, 2022, to 27 months in prison and ordered to pay $111,079.32 to the Internal Revenue Service.

Michael Tiernan was convicted in October 2021 by a federal jury on charges of filing false income tax returns and failure to file a tax return.

Tiernan was the financial officer for multiple business entities related to Ford's Colony, a large resort community in Williamsburg, from at least 2014 to 2017. Tiernan filed federal income tax returns for tax years 2015 and 2016 that falsely understated the income he received from these entities, underreporting income by at least $289,401 in 2015 and at least $204,523 in 2016.

He cashed many of the checks he wrote and received from these entities and deposited cash into his personal bank account. From 2015 to 2017, Tiernan deposited over $1.6 million into his personal bank account and spent nearly all of these funds in a combination of checks and debit card transactions.

Although Tiernan reported a portion of his earnings in both years, his claimed income was offset with high deductions that resulted in zero taxable income for both 2015 and 2016. Additionally, he failed to file a tax return for 2017, despite receiving $111,352 from one business. Tiernan further prepared and filed business tax returns for the entities that concealed the true compensation that he received.