Man Charged with Tax Fraud for Failing to Pay Unemployment Insurance

Posted on Nov 29, 2012

You might think the easiest way for a business owner to cheat the government out of taxes is to not collect (or forward) his payroll taxes, or to engage in other dubious schemes like paying his employees in cash. However, in the case of Green Company Landscaping & Irrigation president Bruce Bourassa, the infraction was a bit more subtle—not paying into his state's unemployment insurance fund for a period of six years.

According to the Eagle-Tribune, Bourassa's “oversight” saved him nearly $450,000 dollars, which otherwise would have gone into the Massachusetts state insurance fund and helped to offset payouts to unemployed Massachusetts residents.

Ironically, Bourassa's own ex-employees collected almost $600,000 in unemployment benefits during that six-year span. (Oddly enough, Bourassa had faithfully paid his unemployment premiums up until 2006; perhaps his business was floundering and he decided this was an easy way to make ends meet.)

Does Bourassa face time in prison? The Eagle-Tribune doesn't say, but that would be a distinct possibility if prosecutors choose to make an example of him, in order to deter other employers who might take advantage of Massachusetts' unemployment trust fund. According to this article, the state's task force collected nearly $6 million in penalties from employers in 2011, which may be just the tip of the iceberg.

Are you in trouble with the IRS because you haven't forwarded your payroll taxes, or you engaged in some other shady business practice? Call the Oklahoma tax experts at Travis W. Watkins, PC (800-721-7054) for a free consultation today!

Read More About Man Charged with Tax Fraud for Failing to Pay Unemployment Insurance...