Authorities said Mark Harmon, 64, of Evansville, IN, was sentenced Wednesday to two years in prison for multiple tax evasion, altered customer invoices and forged income from personal tax returns.
Harmon owned and operated Mark Harmon and Company, accountant and consultant based in Evansville. He was an accountant and CPA for over 25 years until his license expired in June 2015.
Harmon’s largest accounting client from 2012 to 2015 was a group of three affiliates: Pittsburgh Tank and Tower Co., Pittsburgh Tank and Tower Maintenance and Allstate Tower, Inc. (collectively Pittsburgh Tank and Tower Group (« PTTG »)). Harmon has worked with these companies for over 25 years, providing accounting and financial auditing services.
During the IRS audit, Harmon said he made accounting fees of approximately $ 75,000 per year from the PTTG, and it was his practice of sending the PTTG an invoice for the services provided, which they always paid for immediately. He went on to explain that PTTG had not issued him a Form 1099 for the tax years in question because PTTG treated payments to Harmon as deductions for professional services. A further review of Harmon’s books revealed that PTTG allegedly granted Harmon approximately $ 435,000 in loans. Harmon said PTTG would approve the loans and he presented bills, some of which reflected a “loan request.” The agents also requested documents from PTTG. The CFO informed the agents that while collecting the printed invoices from their files, he discovered that several invoices had « loan application » stated and apparently changed. Company officials said PTTG Harmon never loaned money. Harmon had access to the company’s files during his year-end financial and tax filing services. They suspected that Harmon had physically removed the original invoices from their files and changed the invoice description to « Loan Application ». The company found the original invoices in a different format that didn’t match this description.
After discovering the discrepancy in the invoices, Harmon admitted that he had replaced the invoices in the PTTG files with those that did matched the bills for loan applications. All of the $ 435,000 falsely classified as a loan from PTTG to Harmon was professional service income.
According to the authorities, Harmon has to pay $ 208,160 in restitution and will be released under custody for a year after his detention.
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