Houma man pleads guilty to employment tax crime

Published 4:52 pm Wednesday, June 14, 2023

The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of a Mississippi company pleaded guilty today to willfully failing to report and pay over employment taxes withheld from employees’ paychecks.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Julian Russ of Houma, Louisiana, was the CFO of Community Construction Company LLC, a pipeline-maintenance and construction company based in Hazelhurst, Mississippi. From at least 2012 through October 2018, Russ did not file required quarterly employment tax returns or pay over the taxes withheld from employees’ wages to the IRS, despite knowing of his obligation to do so. In total, Russ caused a tax loss to the IRS of more than $6 million.

Russ faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison. He also faces a period of supervised release, restitution, and monetary penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory actors.

Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Darren J. LaMarca for the Southern District of Mississippi made the announcement.

IRS-Criminal Investigation is investigating the case.

Trial Attorney Curtis Weidler of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles Kirkham for the Southern District of Mississippi are prosecuting the case.