Businessman Evaded IRS Assessments, Leading to 1.5 Million Loss

He told his company’s bookkeeper to stop issuing checks, have company pay personal expenses.

 A Pennsylvania businessman pleaded guilty in federal court to tax evasion.

According to court records, Robert Rionda Jr., of Pittsburgh, Penn., owned and operated Arms Insurance Group from 2002 through May 2014. In October 2011, the IRS opened a case on Rionda for unpaid income taxes for the 2009-2011 tax years. In May 2012, the IRS’s attempts to receive payments from Rionda were unsuccessful, and the IRS levied his personal bank accounts.

Rionda responded to IRS levies by ordering the company’s bookkeeper to stop issuing salary checks to Rionda and his wife and pay all of his personal bills from the company’s bank accounts rather than from his personal bank accounts.

Over the next few years, Rionda continued to file apparently accurate corporate returns on behalf of Arms Insurance Group, as well as personal income tax returns, but he made only minimal payments to the IRS for the personal income taxes he owed.

During the years 2009 to 2014, Rionda received distributions from the company each year which varied from approximately $376,000 to $1.6 million. He sold the company to his son in 2014 but continued to receive distributions through 2016.

The total tax loss, including interest and penalties, is more than $1.5 million. Rionda faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

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