Theater owner sentenced for tax evasion
Dawson sentenced (March 26, 2013)
The Bellaire native will follow that sentence with one year of probation and has to pay $988,366 in restitution, which Assistant U.S. Attorney Nils Kessler and Internal Revenue Service agent Cindy Burnett confirmed Monday has already been paid.
"(U.S. District Court Judge Janet Neff) made a statement that this is a serious crime," stated Burnett. "This is a great country because we all pay to contribute to making it a great country."
Through a written plea agreement filed in September 2012, Dawson acknowledged that she evaded corporate and personal taxes by routinely under-reporting the number of patrons who had bought movie tickets, and under-reported receipts from concessions, gift certificates and other items sold at the theaters.
Dawson skimmed off the cash from the unreported sales for personal use, and disclosed only the remaining sales as income when preparing her tax returns.
Although Dawson pleaded guilty to evasion for the tax year 2006, she admitted that she deliberately failed to pay approximately $988,366 in taxes between 2004 and 2010 ($515,975 in personal income taxes and $472,391 in corporate income taxes) according to a press release from the U.S. District Attorney office in Grand Rapids.
She officially pled guilty to the felony charge in October 2012, remaining free through and after Monday's sentencing hearing before Neff. Besides the aforementioned penalties, additional fines were waived besides a $100 special assessment fee. According to both Kessler and Burnett, future ownership of the theatres was not a factor or mentioned in the sentencing hearing.
According to Kessler in a 2012 press release, Dawson faced up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release, and $250,000 in fines as well as being required to pay back taxes.
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