DENVER -- Arborist Paul Donovan knows how to take care of trees, but needs a little help when it comes to taxes relating to his business.
Donovan told Denver7 he immediately took the help offered by Donald Iley, a former accountant who reached out to him.
“He did it for a very small [price] so it sounded great to me,” said Donovan.
He says Iley took his employees payroll taxes from his bank account and put it in his own pocket. Before filing form 941 to the IRS, Iley would change the numbers into zeros.
“It was really deceiving; you would never have any feeling that he was ripping you off,” said Donovan.
Iley scammed Donovan out $38,000 that he must pay the IRS back.
Donovan's business is among the 140 businesses in the Denver metro scammed by Iley, who managed to con them all out of $11 million .
Last year, Iley was indicted on wire fraud, filing false taxes and mail fraud.
The Justice Department says $900,000 of the $11 million he took from honest small business like Donovan’s helped pay for his lavish $1.5-million home in Parker.
Iley plead guilty and will be sentenced in July. But until the court figures out when victims will get back their money and how much, Donovan must still pay the IRS.
“I didn't realize I would still be responsible for the money. It feels horrible, I’m an honest business guy,” he sai.