Taos business owner sentenced to prison for failure to pay taxes withheld from employee paychecks


Date: October 21, 2022

Contact: newsroom@ci.irs.gov

Albuquerque, NM — Alexander M.M. Uballez, United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico, announced that Diane Mariani, of Taos, New Mexico, was sentenced on Oct. 19 to three months in prison and nine months on home detention for willful failure to collect or pay over tax. The Court further ordered Mariani to pay $203,137 as restitution for the Internal Revenue Service, and to pay an additional $150,000 fine. Mariani pleaded guilty on May 18.

Until 2015, Mariani was co-owner, operator and treasurer of Taos RPM LLC, and beginning in 2015 Mariani, was co-owner, operator, and treasurer of Mountain Resort Management, Inc., in Taos, New Mexico. Mountain Resort Management did business as Snakedance Condominiums, Bumps Market and Hondo Restaurant. Mariani was responsible for paying employees of Snakedance Condominiums and Mountain Resort Management and knew she had a duty to withhold federal income taxes, Social Security taxes, and Medicare taxes – collectively referred to as "trust fund taxes" – from employee paychecks. She also knew that she had a duty to report those taxes on a quarterly basis and to deposit those taxes on a regular basis.

From the first quarter of 2015 through the fourth quarter of 2018, Mariani withheld at least $203,137 in trust fund taxes from the employees she paid. Mariani willfully failed to pay those taxes to the IRS.

Upon completion of her prison and home detention sentence, Mariani will be subject to three years of supervised release.

IRS Criminal Investigation investigated this case. Assistant United States Attorney Jeremy Peña prosecuted the case.