CT business owner who evaded taxes but bought a 52-foot cigarette boat gets prison, fine
Hartford Courant (CT)
A Guilford man was sentenced this week to 15 months in prison or failing to pay business and personal taxes, according to federal authorities.
Christopher Jardine, 55, also was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Kari A. Dooley in Bridgeport to one year of supervised release and a $10,000 fine, .
Authorities, citing court documents and statements made in court, said Jardine is a part owner of D&A Construction Management, Inc. in Branford and “was responsible for D&A’s financial affairs, and for collecting and paying over certain federal taxes from D&A’s employees,” including federal income taxes and Federal Insurance Contribution Act taxes, authorities said in a statement. He also was responsible for “ensuring that D&A, as an employer, paid its own share of FICA taxes,” authorities said.
However, an investigation revealed that “although Jardine and D&A withheld employees’ federal income and FICA taxes over multiple tax periods between 2016 and 2019 and reported those withholdings to the IRS, they failed to pay over the withheld amounts, totaling approximately $868,000,” the statement said.
Jardine told the IRS that the company could not pay, but he used “more than $1 million in company funds to pay personal expenses, including purchases of a 52-foot cigarette boat, a Range Rover, high-end clothing, and auto parts, and to make payments on behalf of Straight Jacket USA, LLC, a Guilford business” he controlled, authorities said.
Jardine pleaded guilty in April to one count of willful failure to pay over withholding taxes and admitted that he “evaded payment of the withheld employee taxes, as well as D&A’s share of FICA taxes, for multiple quarters during the 2016 through 2019 tax years,” and that he “evaded the payment of personal income tax liabilities for multiple tax years between 2007 and 2015,” authorities said.
Jardine agreed to pay about $2,070,000 in restitution to the IRS, which includes interest and penalties and to date, has paid most of it, authorities said. Jardine is free on a $50,000 bond and scheduled to report to prison on Feb. 28.