Missouri business owner pleads guilty to evading $300,000 in employment taxes

Guilty Plea

An Ozark, Missouri, man has pleaded guilty in federal court to failing to pay more than $300,000 in employment taxes for his businesses in Springfield.

John P. Hardwick, 51, waived his right to an indictment and pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge David P. Rush to a federal information that charges him with attempting to evade taxation.

Hardwick owned and operated JTBT Investments, LLC, and Hardwick Quartz & Granite, LLC, both located in Springfield. Hardwick accumulated $306,298 in employment tax liabilities as an employer from 1994 through 2016 and failed to pay the money to the IRS. 

In 2016, the IRS issued a Notice of Intent to Levy, which notified Hardwick that the IRS would contact individuals and entities that conducted business with him and notify those customers of the fact that he owed the IRS money. This notice would also direct customers to pay any monies due to Hardwick to the IRS instead, as a means of collecting on the amount due.

Hardwick then directed at least two of his customers to disregard the IRS levies; he also told them he would not complete their ongoing projects if they paid the IRS instead of him.

Under federal statutes, Hardwick is subject to a sentence of up to five years in federal prison without parole.