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McDowell County woman sentenced for impeding an IRS probe at Richmorr & Associates

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A McDowell County woman was sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison for trying to impede an Internal Revenue Service investigation.

U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said Bonita Witt-Hurd, 59, of Thorpe, also must complete one year of supervised release and make restitution of just over $422,180, which includes $186,819 in tax loss and more than $230,000 in interest and penalties.

Witt-Hird was employed by Richmorr and Associates, an Elkview sewage treatment company. Goodwin said between 2003 and 2009, Witt-Hird failed to file required employment tax returns and deposit taxes collected from employee wages. When contacted by IRS agents, Witt-Hird provided false and altered records, checks, and receipts to establish that she had satisfied her tax obligations when, in fact, she had not. A subsequent audit revealed that the required taxes had not been paid.

He said the original records were also recovered and compared to the altered records provided by Witt-Hird, who has admitted to falsifying records in an effort to obstruct the IRS investigation. She admitted that she had failed to pay the IRS the employment taxes, and instead diverted money to pay other bills owed by Richmorr and Associates.

The IRS investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Erik S. Goes handled the prosecution, assisted by Jed Silversmith at the U.S. Department of Justice, Tax Division, Southern Criminal Enforcement Section. The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Judge John T. Copenhaver Jr.