Greenville glass company owner didn’t pay employment taxes, is sent to prison

Greenville Architectural Glass owner Gail Cooper was sentenced Tuesday to 14 months in prison and fined $659,262 for lying about and not paying employment taxes, said a deputy assistant attorney general with the Justice Department’s Tax Division.

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Cooper, 64, of Greenville, owned the company whose acronym is GAG, which primarily installed glass in commercial and residential buildings for clients in Ohio, according to information and documents provided to U.S. District Court in Dayton.

GAG paid wages to its employees from 2013 through 2015, and Cooper, as the person responsible for GAG’s finances, was required to withhold federal income taxes and Social Security and Medicare taxes from the wages and pay those amounts over to the Internal Revenue Service.

Cooper also was required to file quarterly employment tax returns with the IRS.

Although she caused GAG to withhold taxes from wages, she neither filed the required quarterly returns for the first quarter of 2013 through the second quarter of 2015, nor paid the withheld amounts to the IRS. She also failed to pay over to the IRS unemployment taxes.

In all, Cooper caused more than $280,000 in payroll taxes not to be paid.

Cooper also filed false individual income tax returns for 2008, 2009 and 2010, on which she understated GAG’s gross receipts and overstated its expenses.

She caused GAG’s bookkeeper to manipulate and delete entries in the company’s accounting records. Specifically, she directed the bookkeeper to delete invoices from the software after GAG received payment from a client to make it appear as if GAG had not received the payment.

Cooper also paid personal expenses with business funds, including utility bills for her residence and rental properties, and caused these to be classified as business expenses.

After filing fraudulent returns for 2008-2010, Cooper did not file any individual income tax returns for the next several years.

Cooper’s conduct caused a tax loss of $587,516 to the United States, according to the court documents.

U.S. District Judge Thomas M. Rose, in addition to the term of imprisonment, ordered Cooper to serve two years of supervised release and pay restitution to the IRS in the amount of $659,262.39.