A resident of Germantown, TN, Larry Thornton was sentenced to one year in prison and ordered to pay more than $10 million in restitution for failing to pay more than $8 million in employment taxes.
Thornton owned 2 companies, First Touch Payment Solutions, a credit card processing company and Software Earnings, Inc. (SEI) which produced and installed check processing.
Beginning in 2007, Thornton stopped paying the taxes withheld from his employees paychecks at SEI and failed to file Forms 941, the Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Returns, and did the same in 2010 to his First Touch employee’s taxes. During that time, he collected more than $6.8 million and also did not pay the employer’s matching share of FICA taxes. He also failed to file personal and corporate tax returns.
Thornton spent the money instead on personal expenses, including house and condominium payments, vehicle, yacht and motorcycle loan payments, personal travel, and start-up funding for his wife’s beauty boutique.
Deputy District Attorney General Caroline Ciralo said, “Payment of employment taxes is not optional. The sentence that Mr. Thornton received today reflects not just the harm that his actions caused to the U.S. Treasury but also the financial risks he place on his employees by deliberately not filing their W-2 forms with Social Security.”
The IRS is now prosecuting Payroll cases more aggressively than they had in the past. Contact our Attorneys for a confidential consultation if you have a payroll tax issue.