A federal grand jury has indicted a Columbia County business owner for failing to pay $155,936 in taxes, the office of Acting U.S. Attorney Timothy M. O’Shea announced Wednesday.
Christa Johnson, 56, is charged in a 17-count indictment with failing to pay payroll and other taxes associated with her Johnson Sausage Shoppe Inc., Rio a meat processing plant, grocery store, and catering business, and with corruptly endeavoring to impede the Internal Revenue Service.
O’Shea said the indictment alleges that from July 2015 to January 2017, Johnson as owner of the business failed to pay to the IRS federal income taxes, Social Security taxes, and Medicare taxes withheld from the wages of her employees, failed to pay to the IRS all of the employer’s share of Social Security and Medicare (FICA) taxes due on behalf of JSS, and failed to pay to the IRS federal unemployment taxes in 2015 and 2016.
The charge of impeding the IRS is for Johnson allegedly intentionally withholding corporate records requested by a grand jury subpoena issued to JSS and creating a false narrative about other individuals she claimed were responsible for the failure to pay the taxes, O’Shea said.
If convicted, Johnson faces a maximum five years in federal prison on each of the seven counts of failing to pay payroll taxes, one year for each of the nine counts of failing to pay the employer’s share of FICA taxes and failing to pay unemployment taxes, and three years on the charge of corruptly endeavoring to impede the IRS.