Paul H. LaChappelle Jr., 40 of Manitowoc, Wisconsin, pled guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of tax evasion as part of a plea deal for allegedly embezzling more than $300,000 from his employer, Nemschoff Chairs, a company that creates furniture for health care institutions. According to federal court records, sentencing is scheduled for July 18.

LaChappelle was indicted in February this year for four counts of tax evasion and ten counts of wire fraud as a result of an IRS investigation. According to the indictment, starting in 2009, LaChappelle used his position as a maintenance technician to steal parts from Nemschoff Chairs. He completed acquisition requests for replacement parts from the supplier in Florida so that Nemschoff Chairs would not notice the missing parts. LaChapelle then sent the stolen parts back to the supplier and received a 50 percent kickback on the value of the order. Nemschoff Chairs caught on to the embezzlement scheme in January of 2012 and notified the Sheboygan Police Department.

The IRS then took over the case and “discovered that from 2008 to 2011, LaChappelle reported just $8,858 in income yet earned at least $299,000. The underreporting of his income resulted in more than $68,000 in evaded tax income.”1

LaChappell now faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison and a $500,000 fine. This is merely one example of the unintended consequences of criminal behavior. LaChappelle likely knew of the wrongfulness of stealing from his employer but was not conscious of the criminal tax evasion charges that followed and compounded the matter.

If you are just now becoming aware of your possible criminal liability for tax evasion, we can help. Contact the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing, P.C., to get the help of an experienced criminal tax attorney.

1 Garnett Wisconsin Media, Manitowoc Man Pleads Guilty to Nemschoff Embezzlement (Apr. 23, 2014), http://www.htrnews.com/article/20140423/MAN0101/304230378/Manitowoc-man-pleads-guilty-to-Nemschoff-embezzlement?odyssey=tab%7Cmostpopular%7Ctext%7CFRONTPAGE&gcheck=1&nclick_check=1