(STL.News) Matthew D. Krueger, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, announced that United States District Judge Joseph P. Stadtmueller has sentenced Latoya N. Joseph, 42, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to eight months’ imprisonment and six months’ home confinement for the crime of tax evasion.
Ms. Joseph was the owner and operator of Jannah Home Health Care, LLC (“Jannah”), a home health business providing personal care services primarily to Medicaid recipients in the Milwaukee area. Last year, a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Ms. Joseph with three counts of tax evasion, in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7201.
According to the indictment, Ms. Joseph received more than $1.8M from Jannah in 2013, 2014, and 2015, but failed to file federal income tax returns for herself or the business for these years. The indictment alleged that Ms. Joseph willfully attempted to evade and defeat the proper assessment and payment of income taxes totaling approximately $640,000.
Ms. Joseph pleaded guilty to Count Two of the indictment, corresponding with tax year 2014. At sentencing, Judge Stadtmueller described the offense as a serious one and acknowledged the important role of criminal tax prosecutions in protecting the integrity of the voluntary tax compliance system in the United States. Ms. Joseph will be required, as part of her sentence, to serve a term of imprisonment of 8 months, to be followed by three years of supervised release. As part of that supervised release term, Ms. Joseph must serve six months of home confinement. Additionally, as she agreed to do in her plea agreement, she must pay restitution in the amount of $1,124,554.24, representing taxes she evaded for 2013, 2014, and 2015, along with substantial penalties.
“Honest taxpayers deserve to know that Ms. Joseph and others who shirk their tax obligations face time in federal prison,” said U.S. Attorney Krueger. “Her failure to pay income taxes is especially offensive because her business depended on taxpayer-funded programs. I commend the multi-agency effort that brought Ms. Joseph to justice. “
“The sentencing of Latoya Joseph sends an important message today to the American taxpayers. Failing to file tax returns when you operate a business will result in prison time and a bill for taxes, interest, and penalties,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Todd Martin, Chicago Field Office, IRS Criminal Investigation. “Committing tax fraud deserves to be punished, especially when one is defrauding a government-funded program focused on helping Americans. The IRS and U.S. Attorney’s office will continue to investigate those who are failing to comply with their tax obligations.”
The criminal tax case against Joseph was investigated by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, the Social Security Administration – Office of Inspector General, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Office of the Inspector General. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jonathan H. Koenig.