On February 8, 2017, Sarah Ellen Hightower Hill, 72, was sentenced to three months incarceration followed by three years of supervised release. Hightower Hill pleaded guilty to a one count Information charging her with Failure to Account for and Pay Over Employment Taxes on February 16, 2016.
Hightower Hill voluntary surrended herself to the United States Marshals Service to begin serving her sentence.
Hightower Hill was ordered to pay restitution to the government in the amount of $909,251.
According to her plea agreement, the defendant was the majority owner of several companies, between the tax years 2009 through 2011, including Chandler Hill Partners, Inc.; Atlanta Career Specialists, LLC; Houston Career Specialists, LLC; the DHI Group, LLC; IBA Associates, LLC; Morales Career Management Group, LLC; the MHMP Group, LLC; Search Specialists of Dallas, LLC; and the Virginia Search Specialists, LLC. These businesses operated in part within Arizona.
Also according to her plea agreement, the defendant, for each of the entities listed above, willfully failed to account for, collect and pay over a total of $909,251 constituting the employee and employer portion of the employment taxes that should have been paid to the IRS. For tax years 2009-2011, the employee portion withheld but not paid totaled $616,444 and employer portion not paid totaled $292,808.
“The collection and payment of Federal payroll taxes is an important requirement of all business owners. IRS Criminal Investigation will continue to serve the American taxpayer by investigating employment tax fraud,” stated IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Ismael Nevarez Jr.
The investigation in this case was conducted by Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation.