St. Johnsbury business owner jailed for tax evasion | USAO-VT

Blakely H. Jenkins Sr., 61, of St. Johnsbury, Vermont, was sentenced today to one year and one day in prison for tax evasion and identity theft, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Vermont. He runs his St. Johnsbury-based painting business, Blake Jenkins Painting, Inc. U.S. District Judge William K. Sessions III also ordered Jenkins to serve two years of supervised release.

In the year In February 2022, Jenkins pleaded guilty to two counts of tax evasion and identity theft. According to court records and proceedings, from mid-2015 to mid-2020, Jenkins evaded employment taxes by cashing “off-the-books” wages for his employees or using checks that were falsely stated as wages. Jenkins took several steps to execute this plan, including falsifying records, creating false documents, and signing other people’s names without permission. Every employment tax return Jenkins filed with the Internal Revenue Service during this period contained false information that significantly understated the amount Jenkins actually paid its employees. In total, Jenkins’ company failed to report more than $1.3 million in employee wages, resulting in more than $340,000 in unpaid federal taxes.

United States Attorney Nicholas P. “Investigating and prosecuting white-collar crimes is a priority of the United States Attorney’s Office,” Kerst said. “We will continue to work closely with the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Division and our other best law enforcement partners to hold accountable those who line their own pockets by avoiding their tax obligations, collecting the benefits they deserve. They have no rights, nor can they defraud victimized individuals or companies.”

“The IRS Criminal Investigation Division takes these violations of the law very seriously,” said Jolene D. Simpson, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Boston Field Office. “By not reporting all wages to the IRS, hardworking workers may not receive all the Social Security, Medicare and unemployment benefits they are entitled to. Employers are obligated not only to accurately report all wages to their employees, but also to pay all tax withholdings. Investigating employment tax fraud is a priority for IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agents as we strive to protect the trust individuals have in their employers to ensure their future benefits are secure.

The United States is represented in this case by Assistant US Attorney Nicole Kate. Jody Frey, Sr. He represented the accused.

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