On Wednesday, August 30, 2017, an Eastern Iowa businessman pleaded guilty to failing to pay employment taxes and violating the Clean Water Act. The defendant was accused of causing ethanol to spill into the tributary of the Maquoketa River. Randy Less was has been sentenced to 15 months in federal prison. The announcement was made by Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg and Sean R. Berry.

Randy Less was the majority owner of Permeate Refining Inc. The ethanol production business is located in Hopkinton. Less had a responsibility to collect and pay the Internal Revenue Service federal employment, social security and Medicare taxes from his employees’ wages. During the sentencing hearing, the court found that the defendant was responsible for $654,921 in tax loss to the government for failing to account for and pay over employment taxes for Permeate from 2009 to 2012.

Less also intentionally discharged or caused ethanol to be discharged into water belonging to the United States without having a permit to do so. In addition to the 15 months in prison, Less has also been ordered to serve two years of supervised release. He has been ordered to pay a fine of $10,000 and $8,673.30 in costs of prosecution.

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