Forum News Service, Published February 03 2014
Tax preparer ordered to pay more than $18,000 for unpaid taxesAITKIN, Minn. - An Aitkin tax preparer who completed thousands of tax returns for others over a 20-year period must pay more than $18,000 to the state, after admitting that he failed to file his own tax return.
Todd William Sterling, 45, pleaded guilty in State District Court in Aitkin in September to a felony charge of failure to pay taxes in 2009. Five additional felony charges were dismissed by the prosecution.
Last week, 9th Judicial District Judge John Solien stayed imposition of a sentence, which allows the felony to be reduced to a misdemeanor conviction on Sterling’s record, if he follows the terms of probation for five years.
The judge ordered that Sterling pay $18,163.99 in restitution and serve 30 days at the Aitkin County Jail or complete 60 days of electronic monitoring. He also must complete a gambling assessment and stay away from all gambling facilities until the restitution is paid in full.
The charges were brought after an investigation by the Minnesota Department of Revenue, which concluded that Sterling had failed to pay taxes or file a tax return for the 2006, 2008 and 2009 tax years.