Kansas woman pleads guilty to not paying $856K in taxes

TOPEKA (KSNT) — According to U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom, a Kansas woman pleaded guilty on Wednesday to failing to pay more than $856,000 in federal taxes.

Elizabeth Lucero, a 53-year-old from Basehor, was the owner of Sunshine Home Health Care in that city. Lucero pleaded guilty to one count of willful failure to collect or pay over employment tax. In her plea, she agreed to pay restitution of $856,784 and admitted the crime occurred while she owned the business.

Her company withheld payments from employee’s paychecks between 2007 and 2011, including federal income taxes, Medicare and Social Security taxes. The company had 65-70 employees and 1,400 patients. Even though the company was profitable and growing, it made no required payments to the IRS.

Additionally, against her accountant’s advice, Lucero had the company pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for her personal expenses, which included cash withdrawals at casinos for gambling and a $50,000 Cadillac Escalade.

Sentencing will happen at a later time, but she faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000.

Grissom commended the IRS and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jabari Wamble for their work on the case.

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