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Nevada business owner convicted of tax evasion

A Nevada business owner was convicted by a federal jury of tax evasion, the U.S. Justice Department announced.

According to the evidence presented at trial, Maria Larkin, 55, owned and operated Five Star Home Health Care Inc. (Five Star).

Larkin, of Las Vegas, was responsible for collecting, accounting for, and paying over income, Social Security, and Medicare tax withheld from her employees’ wages, the Justice Department said.

From 2004 through 2009, Larkin did not pay over the employment taxes she withheld. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) assessed trust fund recovery penalties (TFRPs) against Larkin for these years, which made her personally liable for the unpaid employment taxes.

Larkin concealed her assets and income to evade paying the trust fund recovery penalties and to obstruct the IRS’ efforts to collect the outstanding taxes, the Justice Department said.

She lied to the IRS regarding her ability to pay, changed the name of her business, placed her business in the name of a nominee, had her employees cash checks for her and bought a home in the name of a nominee, the Justice Department said.

In total, Larkin evaded more than $1.6 million in taxes, the department said.

The trial was last month in Las Vegas.

Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 13.

Larkin faces a statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison, a period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties.

Acting U.S. Attorney Steven W. Myhre for the District of Nevada commended special agents of IRS Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and trial attorney John Mulcahy of the Tax Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexandra Michael, who prosecuted the case.

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