Metro man guilty in tax fraud scheme

Atlanta Business Chronicle - 4:50 PM EDT Wednesday, April 18, 2007 A Canton, Ga., man who co-owned 20/20 Payroll Solutions pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal district court in Atlanta to a scheme to defraud more than 100 business clients out of more than $4 million.

Stephen E. Taylor, 34, was charged with one count of wire fraud on April 10. He will now be sentenced June 27 before U.S. District Judge Orinda D. Evans, and he faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Taylor was an owner of 20/20 Payroll Solutions, a company with offices in Georgia, Texas, and Alabama. Taylor promised his clients the company would process their payroll and pay all of their federal and state payroll taxes accurately, timely and consistently. Instead, He diverted funds from 20/20 Payroll Solutions for his own personal expenses and investments in real estate.

When 20/20 Payroll Solutions' clients began to receive notices from the IRS and various state taxing agencies relating to the non-receipt of their tax payments, they contacted Taylor. He provided the clients with false IRS confirmation numbers as proof of payment made by 20/20 Payroll Solutions. He also lied to the clients, telling them their federal tax payments had been made to the IRS when the payments had not been made.

"This defendant took advantage of more than 100 innocent business owners, including many mom-and-pop operations," U.S. Attorney David E. Nahmias said. "He took the funds his clients entrusted him with to pay their employees' taxes and used the funds instead for his own personal benefit. When his scheme spiraled out of control, he began using the funds of one client to pay for the taxes owed by other clients. In less than two years, he cheated his clients out of more than $4 million dollars."

Nahmias said any former clients of 20/20 Payroll Solutions who would like to be considered for an abatement of penalties by the IRS should call (404) 658-0795.

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