NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A Virginia Beach woman has pleaded guilty to neglecting to pay payroll taxes to the IRS after they were deducted from her employees’ paychecks.
Wendy Brockenbrough, 53, pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court in Norfolk, according to a U.S. Department of Justice news release.
Court documents say Brockenbrough failed to pay more than $2.7 million in payroll taxes to the IRS from at least 2011 to 2019.
Brockenbrough owned three different companies: East West Construction, Sea Trader Marine and Coastal Pipeline Services. As the principal owner of the companies, she was responsible for withholding the employment taxes and paying them to the IRS.
She failed to send the money to the IRS and also didn’t file the required Form 941, Employer’s Quarterly Tax Return, for years.
The DOJ said Brockenbrough gave weekly paystubs to her employees and yearly W-2 forms that showed the payroll taxes that were being withheld from their paychecks.
With the money, the DOJ said Brockenbrough bought other expensive things, including a Regulator center console boat for about $126,000, a Hatteras 60-foot yacht for about $820,000, and a Jeep Wrangler for about $41,000.
Brockenbrough lied to her accountants to cover up the unpaid taxes, and forged IRS records and Quickbook entries to show the taxes had been paid.
Brockenbrough is scheduled for sentencing in federal court Sept. 8. She faces up to 15 years in prison.
As part of a plea agreement, Brockenbrough agrees to pay restitution in the full amount of the losses.
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