Arlington business owner pleads guilty to keeping taxes from employees' wages

SEATTLE — An Arlington woman has pled guilty to keeping more than $375,000 in taxes that she withheld from her employees' wages.

Deborah Ann Guenthner of Arlington pled guilty on U.S. District Court in Seattle on March 18 to a willful failure to pay over tax on the three corporations she owned — WRG Electric, Inc., West Electric, LLC, and Electrical Construction, Inc.

According to here plea agreement, between 2004 and 2008, Guenthner withheld $377,687 from employee wages for employment, social security and income taxes, and then failed to pay it over to the federal government, instead keeping the money for her own benefit. When she's sentenced by U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez on June 17, Guenthner will face potential penalties of up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Guenthner has agreed to pay restitution to the United States for the full amount of $377,687, but the IRS will determine whether any additional income taxes, penalties or interest are due. Prosecutors have agreed to recommend the low end of the sentencing guidelines range for a prison sentence. Guenthner has also agreed to pay the costs of her prosecution, which will be determined at the time of sentencing.

This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carl Blackstone.

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