CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) — A Wyoming County man has been indicted for allegedly failing to pay over employment taxes, according to the United States Department of Justice.
According to the DOJ, a federal grand jury indicted Christopher J. Smyth, of Pineville, on charges of four counts of “willful failure to pay over employment taxes” and three counts “obstructing the IRS’s collection efforts.” Smyth was the operator of the companies Wyoming County’s Best Ambulance Service, Inc., Stat Ambulance Service, Inc., and Stat EMS, LLC. The three companies provided ambulance services to the residents of Wyoming County, West Virginia.
The indictment alleges Smyth was responsible for collecting and paying over employment taxes withheld from employees’ wages to the IRS. The DOJ says while he allegedly did withhold the tax funds from Stat Ambulance Service’s employees’ wages, he allegedly did not pay the full employee withholdings or full employer’s share to the IRS.
According to the DOJ, the IRS penalized Smyth for those allegations, and he then stopped operations of Stat Ambulance Service, Inc. and created Stat EMS, LLC “in the name of a nominee owner.” The indictment alleges he continued to operate the new company as the previous was operated and allegedly did not pay overall employment taxes owed to the IRS.
The indictment says when the IRS attempted to collect the unpaid taxes and issue penalties, Smyth allegedly made false and misleading statements to obstruct their efforts. The DOJ says he is accused of stating he did not own Stat EMS and did not have a personal bank account.
Smyth is also accused of further obstructing the IRS by allegedly paying personal expenses from the Stat EMS business bank accounts, transferring funds from Stat EMS’s bank accounts to accounts he controlled, and diverting his own paychecks to an account under another person’s name, the DOJ said.
An initial court appearance before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia has not yet been announced. If Smyth is convicted of the charges, he faces a maximum of five years in prison for each of the four counts of willful failure to pay over employment taxes and three years in prison for each of the three counts of obstructing the IRS.