GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A Michigan roofing contractor who avoided paying taxes on more than $6 million in unreported income was sentenced last week to a year in prison.
John Snyder, 72, of Greenvile, Mich.-based Snyder’s Roofing, pleaded guilty on June 20 to a felony information charging him with tax evasion for the 2011 tax year. The sentencing came about a month after another roofer was sentenced to prison on similar charges in Massachusetts.
The U.S. Dept. of Justice said that as part of a plea agreement, Snyder “further admitted to willfully evading the assessment of income taxes for 2009 to 2014 by underreporting his income by over $6 Million.”
He has agreed to pay more than $414,000 in restitution, representing his tax loss, plus fraud penalties and interest.
Prior to his sentencing last week, Snyder faced up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
“Snyder willfully evaded his civic and legal obligation to pay his taxes,” said U.S. Attorney Birge in a release at the time the plea agreement was announced. “The IRS figured out his scheme and he will now pay those taxes after all, along with fraud penalties and interest, while also facing up to five years in prison.”
In the process of “willfully” evading taxes, the DOJ said Snyder purposely deposited less than all of his business income into his business bank account without informing his accountant. Instead, he took checks from his customers and signed them over to suppliers (making them third-party checks) to pay for the materials and services used in his business.
As a result, the business account did not show actual business income.
Additionally, investigators found that Snyder deposited checks intended to pay for work done by his roofing business into a personal bank account.
“This is a classic example of greed,” said Manny Muriel, IRS-Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit Field Office. “Snyder blatantly disregarded the law to line his own pockets. He painstakingly took steps to avoid paying his fair share of taxes. IRS-Criminal Investigation will continue to seek out and find those who choose to disregard the tax laws.”