Missouri business owner pleads guilty to failure to pay millions of dollars in taxes

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A Missouri, man pleaded guilty in federal court to failing to pay more than $2.8 million in payroll taxes from his business and more than $1.1 million in personal income taxes.

Rex Tarwater, 66, of Sunrise Beach, waived his right to a grand jury and pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Greg Kays to one count of failing to pay over employment taxes and one count of failing to file personal income taxes.

Tarwater is the owner of Semper Blue Professional Services, Inc. Semper Blue provides off-duty police security for public venues, including the Sprint Center, Kansas City Live, and other locations.

By pleading guilty, Tarwater admitted that he failed to pay over to the Internal Revenue Service payroll taxes withheld from Semper Blue’s employees’ paychecks. From 2015 through 2020, Semper Blue withheld more than $1.9 million in taxes from its employees’ paychecks, including federal income taxes, Medicare, and Social Security taxes (commonly known as payroll taxes). However, during that time, Semper Blue made no payments to the Internal Revenue Service, which were due quarterly during each of those years. The total employment tax loss as a result of Tarwater’s failure to pay over withholding taxes was $2,739,712.

Tarwater also admitted that he failed to file personal income tax returns in tax years 2015 through 2020. The total personal income tax loss as a result of Tarwater’s failure to file personal income tax forms was $1,199,611.

Under federal statutes, Tarwater is subject to a sentence of up to six years in federal prison without parole.  A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul S. Becker. It was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation.

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