A woman who owned a home health care business in Basehor, Kan., pleaded guilty Wednesday to failing to pay more than $856,000 in federal taxes, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said.
Elizabeth Lucero, 53, Basehor, Kan., pleaded guilty to one count of willful failure to collect or pay over employment tax. In her plea, she admitted the crime occurred while she owned Sunshine Home Health Care in Basehor. The company had 65 to 70 employees and 1,400 patients.
From 2007 to 2011, Lucero’s company withheld payments from employee’s paychecks including federal income taxes, Medicare and Social Security taxes. Even though the company was growing and profitable, it made no payments to the Internal Revenue Service as required, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.
Furthermore, against her accountant’s advice, Lucero had the company pay for hundreds of thousands of dollars of her personal expenses, including cash withdrawals at casinos for gambling and a $50,000 Cadillac Escalade.
In her plea, Lucero agreed to pay restitution of $856,784.
Sentencing will be set for a later time. She faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000. Grissom commended the Internal Revenue Service and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jabari Wamble for their work on the case.