A federal grand jury has handed down a 23-count indictment against Janis Ann Edwards of Oklahoma City for tax evasion, announced Mark A. Yancey, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma.
According to the indictment, Edwards was the sole owner of Corporate Resource Management, Inc., and a number of related companies with their principal place of business in Oklahoma City. These companies operated as "professional employer organizations," or "PEOs." In essence, they served small businesses in several states in the central part of the United States by, among other things, taking on responsibilities for paying their employees’ payroll and collecting and paying payroll taxes to the IRS. The employees of small businesses became employees of one of Edwards’s entities, and their payroll taxes were to be paid under the tax identification number of one of those entities.
According to the indictment, Edwards failed to pay substantial amounts of payroll taxes collected from small businesses that had contracted with one of the CRM-related entities. The 23 counts relate to quarterly payroll tax returns filed by Oklahoma Corporate Resource, Inc.; Missouri Corporate Resource, Inc.; and Texas Corporate Resource, Inc., for various quarters in 2010 and 2011. The indictment alleges that Edwards regularly and intentionally directed her own employees to alter these quarterly tax returns to reflect less payroll tax liability than what was actually owed. For the 23 quarters identified in the indictment, Edwards is alleged to be responsible for $6,387,399.09 in unreported payroll taxes.
If convicted, Edwards faces on each count a maximum penalty of five years in prison, three years of supervised release, a fine of $250,000, and the costs of prosecution.
This case is the result of an investigation by IRS-Criminal Investigations. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Scott E. Williams and Jessica L. Perry.
The public is reminded that an indictment is merely an accusation and that the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.