Cadillac Businessman Sent To Prison For Tax Evasion

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

          GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN — U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge announced today that Douglas Arvin Horning, 56, of Cadillac, was sentenced to 20 months in prison for tax evasion by the Honorable Paul L. Maloney, United States District Judge.  He was also ordered to pay $977,983 in restitution and to serve three years on supervised release following incarceration.

          According to the plea agreement and other public records, prior to his guilty plea, Horning had not filed an individual tax return since 2008 or a corporate tax return since 2006 for his software company Perfect Professionals, Inc., doing business as Compass Technologies.  He had not paid any individual or corporate taxes during that time.  Horning also failed to pay all of the required “trust fund” taxes withheld from his employees’ paychecks.  Horning concealed income by routing it through a second company—even after that company was dissolved by the State of Michigan—failing to disclose the company’s bank account to the IRS when required to do so, and not including that income on the Forms W-2 he issued to himself through Perfect Professionals.  He likewise received unreported income by paying personal expenses using Perfect Professionals’ bank account. 

          “As Tax Day approaches, the Court’s sentence is an important reminder of the duty we as citizens and other taxpayers owe to each other and the government to file returns and pay legally required taxes,” said U.S. Attorney Birge. “Concealing assets from the IRS or otherwise evading these obligations can and will result in criminal prosecution.”

          “The license to run a business is not a license to avoid paying taxes or collecting your employees’ withholding and not paying it over to the IRS,” said Special Agent in Charge Sarah Kull, IRS Criminal Investigation, Detroit Field Office.  “Horning’s misconduct, hiding income and blatant disregard of tax laws, cheats all Americans, who pay their fair share of taxes.”

          This case was investigated by IRS Criminal Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin M. Presant.