(KANSAS, CITY, Mo.) A St. Joseph, Mo., woman was sentenced in federal court today for leading a $1.5 million tax fraud scheme.
Dinorah Lynn Stoll-Weaver, 50, of St. Joseph, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Beth Phillips to two years in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Stoll-Weaver to pay $1,493,991 in restitution to the government for unpaid personal and business taxes.
On July 28, 2017, Stoll-Weaver pleaded guilty to failing to pay over employee payroll taxes to the IRS.
Beginning in 2001, Stoll-Weaver owned and operated Homeward Bound Health Services, Inc., a home health provider located in St. Joseph. Her sister and co-defendant, Dawn Langlais (formerly Ankrom-Brown), 60, of St. Joseph, was vice president and helped to operate the business. Between 2001 and 2010, Homeward Bound collected employment taxes from employees but did not pay them over to the IRS. The IRS notified Homeward Bound as early as 2004 that employment taxes were not paid. Revenue investigators had regular contact with Stoll-Weaver. From 2004 to 2009, Homeward Bound failed to pay $326,209 in employment taxes it had withheld from employees.
To avoid responsibility for their debts and theft of tax money, Stoll-Weaver and Langlais converted Homeward Bound into Silver Linings in 2010, using their parents as straw owners and operators.
For 13 years, from 2002 to 2012, Homeward Bound/Silver Linings withheld and failed to pay a total of $1,459,727 in Social Security, Medicare, and federal income tax.
Stoll-Weaver also withheld employees' IRA contributions, medical and dental insurance payments and child support, and kept those withholdings as income for herself and other relatives. The theft of these payments had negative collateral consequences for their employees. Two employees filed lawsuits against Homeward Bound for money that Homeward Bound withheld from their paychecks, such as for child support, but did not pay as obligated. Stoll-Weaver retaliated against one of the employees by firing her; when the employee filed for unemployment benefits, her request was denied because Homeward Bound had not paid unemployment taxes.
Over the years, Stoll-Weaver represented to the IRS that the business was losing money, however, each of the principal employees, including Stoll-Weaver and her husband and co-defendant, Thad Weaver, 46, of St. Joseph, paid themselves well, in both reported and unreported income. From 2007 to 2012, Stoll-Weaver earned a total of $579,674 in unreported income.
During the course of the conspiracy, Stoll-Weaver filed false income and expense reports with IRS collections regarding her outstanding tax debts.
Langlais also pleaded guilty to failing to pay over employee payroll taxes to the IRS and was sentenced on Jan. 30, 2018, to 18 months in federal prison without parole.
Langlais and Stoll-Weaver admitted they received income from Homeward Bound and Silver Linings, which they failed to report on their individual federal income tax forms, and as a result, underpaid their federal income taxes. Langlais willfully failed to make an income tax return or pay personal income taxes from 2010 to 2012, for a total personal tax loss of $56,860.
Weaver and Stoll-Weaver were married and filed individual income tax returns for 2010 through 2012; Stoll-Weaver filed a separate return in 2009. Their combined unreported income was at least $257,827. Weaver's total personal tax loss was at least $27,488. Stoll-Weaver's personal tax loss was $34,264.
Langlais employed her daughter, co-defendant Jennifer Sturgis, 39, of St. Joseph, at Homeward Bound and Silver Linings. Weaver and Sturgis each pleaded guilty to making false statements on a tax return and were sentenced to five years of probation.
Weaver and Sturgis admitted they received income from Homeward Bound and Silver Linings, which they failed to report on their individual federal income tax forms, and as a result, underpaid their federal income taxes.
Sturgis willfully failed to make an income tax return or pay personal income taxes from 2007 to 2012, for a total personal tax loss of $148,347, including relevant conduct.
Additionally, from 2009 to 2012, Stoll-Weaver, Weaver and Sturgis each claimed personal federal income tax refunds, knowing that Homeward Bound and Silver Linings had not paid any income taxes to the IRS.