Nampa woman pleads guilty to failure to account for and pay over employment tax


Date: December 13, 2021


BOISE — A Nampa woman pleaded guilty to failure to account for and pay over employment tax.

According to court records, from approximately 1999 to 2019, Nicole Beth Howerzyl of Nampa, was a corporate officer for Dave's Motorcycle, Inc. (DMI) in Nampa. DMI was in the business of selling and servicing motorcycles. During that time, Howerzyl handled the bookkeeping for DMI, and exercised control over DMI's financial affairs, including approving all payments by DMI and controlling all of DMI's bank accounts.

For the calendar years 2013 to 2019, DMI employed approximately 15 to 25 people per year. During that period, DMI withheld taxes from its employees' paychecks, including federal income taxes, Medicare, and social security taxes, often referred to as "payroll taxes." Howerzyl directly issued payroll checks twice per month and withheld payroll taxes from employees' paychecks. Howerzyl also issued annual Forms W-2 to the employees of DMI, which reflected their gross wages, as well as their payroll taxes.

As a corporate officer of DMI, Howerzyl was aware that she had the corporate responsibility to collect, truthfully account for, and pay over DMI's payroll taxes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and file an Employer's Quarterly Federal Income Tax Return (Form 941) following the end of each calendar quarter.

DMI, however, made no payments to the IRS for the calendar years 2013 to 2019. DMI further failed to file quarterly employment tax returns (Forms 941) with the IRS. Specifically, for the tax years 2013 to 2019, Howerzyl failed to account for $4,874,572.73 in wages at DMI and pay over $1,161,135.25 to the IRS in payroll taxes.

As part of the plea agreement with the Government, Howerzyl agreed to pay outstanding restitution to the IRS in the amount of $373,552.21.

"Collecting payroll taxes from workers then failing to pay over those amounts to the federal government is a gross breach of trust and is not a victimless crime," said Acting U.S. Attorney Rafael M. Gonzalez, Jr. "It is stealing from the workers, as well as the public, and hurts all Americans. Those who flaunt federal tax laws, must know that they will be investigated and prosecuted," he said.

"Defrauding the government by failing to submit payroll taxes to the IRS is also a crime against all honest taxpayers as the lost tax revenue is burdened by everyone else," said Andy Tsui, IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge. "Ms. Howerzyl's plea today serves as an important reminder that IRS:CI is committed to bringing to justice those who evade their corporate tax responsibilities for their personal gain."

Howerzyl is scheduled to be sentenced on March 15, 2022 and faces a statutory maximum of five years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine, and up to three years of supervised release. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Acting U.S. Attorney Rafael M. Gonzalez, Jr., of the District of Idaho commended the efforts of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, which led to charges.