Kansas Metal Business Owner Faces Jail Time Over Employment Tax Evasion

A recent case involving Douglas Furnell, the owner and operator of Western Metal Company in Louisburg, Kansas, offers a stern reminder of the dire consequences when one evades their duty to the federal government.

According to the Office of Public Affairs, Furnell, a resident of Leawood, Kansas, has pleaded guilty to deliberately neglecting to submit federal employment taxes for his business. This violation encompasses a duration stretching from the beginning of 2015 through the middle of 2020.

Western Metal Company, known for manufacturing custom metal products, had its owner, Furnell at the helm of its financial operations. One of his crucial duties was to timely remit the federal income and Social Security and Medicare taxes deducted from his employees’ paychecks. Court records reveal that Furnell did not only withhold the due taxes but also refrained from submitting the necessary quarterly employment tax returns. The resultant tax deficit caused to the IRS by non-compliance is $333,983.

For many small business proprietors, this situation underscores the critical importance of understanding and fulfilling tax obligations. Delays or non-compliance can result in financial penalties and severe legal repercussions. In Furnell’s case, the sentencing, scheduled for December 14, might lead to a maximum imprisonment of five years. Apart from the incarceration, Furnell is also staring down the barrel of supervised release, restitution, and additional monetary fines. The final decision rests with a federal district court judge who will consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other relevant factors.

The news of this case was relayed to the public by Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Kate E. Brubacher for the District of Kansas.

IRS-Criminal Investigation is currently delving deeper into the case, reminding business owners of the vigilant eye of regulatory bodies. For those in the small business community, this incident serves as a case study of the importance of transparency, ethical financial practices, and ensuring that one’s business remains compliant with all tax obligations.

The case’s prosecution is in the hands of Trial Attorney Erika V. Suhr of the Tax Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney D. Christopher Oakley of the District of Kansas.

For many, this incident emphasizes the balance that must be maintained between entrepreneurship and legal obligations. As the saga of Western Metal Company unfolds, it might well be a wake-up call for small business owners nationwide about the significance of maintaining financial integrity.

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Joshua Sophy Joshua Sophy is the Editor for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 16 years. A professional journalist with 20 years of experience in traditional media and online media, he attended Waynesburg University and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. He has held roles of reporter, editor and publisher, having founded his own local newspaper, the Pottsville Free Press.