The owner-operator of a Tinton Falls-based commercial office cleaning business admitted Tuesday that he ducked federal taxes by paying employees off the books.
John Storz, 53, of Eatontown pleaded guilty during a video conference before a federal judge in Trenton to failing to collect, account for and pay payroll taxes, as well as tax evasion, an IRS spokesman said.
Storz cashed more than $1.2 million of client checks at a check-cashing business, then used most of the cash to pay employees under the table, federal authorities said.
In doing so, he admitted, he failed to pay more than $213,513.46 in employment taxes.
The IRS said Storz also used his business bank account to cover personal expenses, such as mortgage, life insurance, car lease and home utility payments, as well as personal credit card purchases.
Storz deducted these personal expenses as business expenses on the company corporate returns, reducing the amount of ordinary business income he reported on his personal tax return, federal authorities said.
For the tax years 2011 through 2015, they said, Storz failed to report $717,628 of additional income, which resulted in a total tax loss of $182,210.
Storz admitted that for the 2015 calendar year, he failed to include approximately $179,500 of additional taxable income on his personal tax return, which resulted in an additional tax due and owing of approximately $49,499.
“Today’s guilty plea by should send a strong deterrent message to those that would attempt to avoid paying their fair share of taxes,” said Michael Montanez, the special agent in charge of the IRS-Criminal Investigation’s Newark Field Office, which conducted the investigation along with members of U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito’s office.
“When Mr. Storz made the decision to evade paying taxes for himself and his business, he also made the decision to cheat every honest taxpayer,” Montanez said.
The SAC pledge to “continue to vigorously pursue those individuals who attempt to cheat the system.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah A. Sulkowski secured the plea.
U.S. District Court Judge Peter G. Sheridan scheduled sentencing for Dec. 7.
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