After reportedly using checks paid to their business for personal expenses, the co-owners of a Fort Myers, Fla.-based roofing company pleaded guilty to tax evasion resulting in more than $1.4 million.

According to court documents, David Aaron and Russell Ultes were co-owners of Marlin Construction Group LLC, a residential and commercial roofing company. A release from the Department of Justice states in 2018 and 2019, Aaron and Ultes diverted millions of dollars of customer checks made payable to Marlin by cashing them at check-cashing businesses in nearby counties. 

Aaron and Ultes used the cash to pay personal expenses and caused Marlin’s books and records to falsely underreport the business’ gross receipts and income for those years. Aaron and Ultes provided false information to Marlin’s tax return preparers, resulting in the preparation of false 2018 and 2019 corporate income tax returns (Forms 1120S) that did not report all of the gross receipts and income. 

Because the income from the false corporate returns flowed through to Aaron and Ultes’s personal returns, their 2018 and 2019 personal income tax returns (Forms 1040) were similarly false.

Aaron and Ultes each face a maximum of five years in prison, a period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties. U.S. District Judge Sheri Polster Chappell will determine any sentencing.

IRS-Criminal Investigation is investigating the case.