Acting U.S. Attorney Michelle M. Baeppler announced that Michael Meridieth, 41, of Toledo, Ohio, was sentenced today to one year and one day in prison and ordered to pay 1,125,268.84 in restitution after he pleaded guilty to attempt to evade and defeat income tax.
According to court documents, from 2004 to the present, Meridieth owned and operated five different businesses in the Toledo area. At each business, Meridieth handled the accounting and bookkeeping, which included the withholding of employment taxes from employee paychecks.
At each business, except for one, Meridieth failed to timely file employer tax returns or make timely deposits of employer taxes to the IRS. Each business, except for one, shut down owing payroll taxes and withholdings to the IRS. Instead of making these payments, Meridieth transferred the assets of one business to another to continue business operations and avoid paying accumulated tax liabilities.
Instead of making timely payments to the IRS, Meridieth used these withheld funds on personal expenses to support a lavish lifestyle, such as the purchase of a snowmobile and to pay for a visit to a rehabilitation facility. In addition, while payroll taxes were outstanding, Meridieth allowed himself and his business associates to spend business funds on personal expenditures, including furniture, jewelry and a country club membership.
In total, Meridieth failed to pay more than $1.1 million in employment taxes.
This case was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Vanessa Healy.