On Friday, it was announced that a Pennsylvania couple had been convicted of failing to pay over employment taxes to the Internal Revenue Service and of filing fraudulent personal and corporate tax returns. The couple owned and operated an Internet floral business. Evidence presented at trial showed that 45-year-old Andrew Bassaner and his wife 44-year-old Vicki Bunchuk owned and operated Florist Concierge Inc. For the tax years 2010 through 2012, the defendants filed fraudulent corporate and personal income tax returns with the IRS.
They diverted funds from their business and deducted the funds as business expenses on the company’s corporate returns. This money was not reported as income on their personal returns. The money was ultimately used on personal luxuries, including paying monthly rent of $17,000 for a home in Windemere, Florida.
Also, from 2011 through 2014, the defendants filed fraudulent employment tax returns for FCI. Those returns falsely classified the company’s employees as independent contractors. As a result, Bassaner and Bunchuk claimed that they did not owe employment taxes on the wages paid to their clients. The defendants are now scheduled to be sentenced on June 27. They will face a maximum sentence of five years in prison for each employment tax count and three years for each count of filing a fraudulent return.
Additional details have been made available here.