Judge sentences self-employed couple to prison


The mission of the Internal Revenue Service in Washington is to act as the nation's tax collection agency and administer the Internal Revenue Code enacted by Congress. Photo via fb.com

A husband and wife with a pair of small businesses are going to prison for federal tax crimes.

Helen C. Hale and her husband, David W. Leiter, were both sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Robert J. Jonker on Monday for crimes involving their small businesses, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Grand Rapids said this week.

Hale is the owner of Kiddie Komfort Preschool and Daycare.

Leiter owns David Michael Studios, a hair salon.

Both businesses are located in Kalamazoo.

Tax evasion

Hale was sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison, followed by two years of supervised release for tax evasion.

She was also ordered to pay $277,391.31 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.

Hale failed to file timely federal income tax returns for the years 2006 and 2008- 2012, despite having gross business receipts of $2,693,478.

Hale did file a federal income tax return for 2007, but failed to report approximately $380,165 in gross receipts that she received from her daycare business.

In December 2013, Hale pled guilty to one count of income tax evasion.

Failure to file

Leiter was sentenced to three months in prison, followed by one year of supervised release for failure to file a tax return.

He was ordered to pay $105,689 in restitution to the IRS.

Leiter failed to file federal income tax returns for tax years 2009 through 2012, despite having gross business receipts of approximately $200,736.

In December 2013, Leiter pled guilty to one count of failing to file an income tax return.

"Severe consequences"

“Tax evasion is not a victimless crime,” said Jarod Koopman, special agent in charge, IRS Criminal Investigation. “Individuals who corruptly violate the law to further their business interests and intentionally evade paying their fair share of taxes undermine public confidence in our tax system and unfairly disadvantage businesses that play by the rules. As Hale and Leiter have discovered, operating outside the law and failing to pay taxes has severe consequences.”

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