Employer gets prison, home detention for failure to pay employment taxes

DENVER - A 72-year-old Fort Collins woman has been sentenced to six months in prison and six months of home detention for failure to pay taxes to the IRS.

Murleen Kay Kunzman was also ordered to pay $825,489 in restitution, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Denver said.

Kunzman pleaded guilty last August for failure to pay employment taxes.

According to federal court records, Kunzman owned and managed CrossCountry Fulfillment, LLC.  The company's online profile said it specialized in 1-800 and e-commerce products, order processing, packaging and shipping.

According to federal court records,  Kunzman, owned and managed the company between June, 2006 and September, 2011 in Fort Collins. During this time, the company employed approximately 65 employees and during that time failed to file federal employment tax returns, a  federal document stated.  The company withheld employee income taxes, but failed to submit the withholdings to the IRS, federal documents state.

The people that worked for CCF were treated as employees, and not independent contractors, as evidenced by the employees' statements regarding their work, federal W-2 forms, and other CCF documentation.

Furthermore, CCF took deductions for "payroll taxes" on its tax returns, even though those funds were never paid over to the IRS. Kunzman also did not pay the employee portion of FICA taxes that should have been paid over to the IRS.

"Employers who collect the employment tax have a moral and legal obligation to pay that money to the IRS,"  said U.S. Attorney John Walsh.  "Those who don’t pay that money to the IRS so they can use it for personal expenses are essentially stealing from employees and taxpayers alike and will be prosecuted."

"Business owners have a responsibility to withhold income taxes for their employees and then remit those taxes to the IRS," Lilia Ruiz, Acting Special Agent in Charge for IRS Criminal Investigation, Denver Field Office.

"IRS-Criminal Investigation will vigorously pursue anyone who collects taxes and fails to remit those taxes."

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