Two Weymouth, Massachusetts women are facing charges of tax evasion in connection to a home health care company they co-owned in Boston. Sheila O’Connell, 33, and Hannah Holland, 51, were both charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and three counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation of false tax returns.
The women face up to five years in prison with another three years supervised release and a maximum fine of $250,000 for the conspiracy charge. For filing a false tax return, the sentence could be no greater than three years in prison, one year of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine.
The women apparently received far more money in person then they reported on their tax filings.
As reported by the Weymouth Patch in the news blog, Weymouth Owner of Healthcare Company Charged [w]ith Tax Fraud, written by Alex Newman:
“Federal authorities allege the pair, who owned and operated Erin’s Own Home Healthcare Inc., cashed over $3.5 million in business checks through nominee accounts controlled by an unnamed person from 2010-2014. During that same time period, Holland also personally cashed over $77,000 in business receipts, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.
None of the funds were reported to the IRS or accounted for in the company’s tax filings, and the pair instead provided their tax preparer with a limited set of financial records that did not cover the diverted funds, according to authorities. This caused the IRS to lose $1,126,112, the USAO said.”
It is unclear whether this was a conspiracy, but according to anonymous sources, investigators had determined that this was a deliberate act with the main focus of defrauding the IRS and underreporting income.
There was no formal notice about whether the company was still in operation or whether the investigation and subsequent charges may have resulted in clients no longer receiving necessary services. As CMS (the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) has recently implemented new measures to help combat fraud and deception through the system, it has certainly placed increased pressure on home care agencies to maintain paperwork and pay workers out of pocket before reimbursements can be received, but this case does not appear to have anything to do with Medicare or Medicaid fraud but rather tax evasion and it’s unclear whether these changes led to some of their actions.
It was not made clear whether these two women had retained legal counsel or if they entered a plea. It was also not noted when the next court date would be held.