DOJ: Cambria sausage shop owner sentenced to prison after not paying taxes

(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
Published: Dec. 1, 2022 at 8:26 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - A Cambria sausage shop owner was sentenced to a year in prison Thursday after pleading guilty to failing to pay taxes to the IRS, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced.

Christa Johnson was ordered to serve one year in prison, pay a $25,000 fine and pay over $326,000 in restitution to the IRS, which she paid immediately, after she pleaded guilty, officials said.

According to DOJ, the 57-year-old from Cambria was charged in June with seven counts of withholding income taxes and payroll taxes from her employees and not paying the taxes over to the IRS, nine counts of not paying the employer’s share of employment taxes and one count of obstruction of IRS collection efforts.

As the president of Johnson Sausage Shoppe, Inc., which is located in Rio, the DOJ explained Johnson was responsible for all aspects of business, including accounting, finance, banking, payroll, hiring and firing of employees, paying bills, paying taxes, and filing Forms 1120-S, 941, and 940 with the IRS. DOJ officials said she failed to file quarterly employment returns and pay employment taxes from 2013 to 2016.

In total, DOJ said Johnson Sausage Shoppe owed $326,905. Johnson pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of not paying over the employee tax withholdings for the third quarter of 2016.

The judge presiding over the case said that Johnson engaged in a pattern of defiance with the IRS and that her conduct was serious, handing down the year-long sentence.

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