Grand Jury Indicts Perkiomenville Business Owners

PHILADELPHIA PA – The owners and operators of a Perkiomenville-based landscaping and excavation business have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Philadelphia for allegedly “conspiring to defraud the IRS,” including failing to pay employment taxes, the U.S. Department of Justice said Monday (March 14, 2023).

The indictment charges Perkiomenville residents Theodore Shearba and Jennifer Cemini with not reporting business income; using business funds to pay for personal expenses; not paying employment, Social Security, or Medicare taxes withheld from employees’ paychecks; and changing business names and concealing business income to avoid IRS collection of unpaid employment taxes.

The statement did not identify the businesses by name or location, nor did it say how many employees were affected.

It claims the incidents occurred between October 2013 and December 2021. The indictment also alleged Shearba did not file individual income tax returns for years 2019 through 2021.

An indictment is merely an assertion, the Justice Department acknowledged, and it added that the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

The IRS criminal investigators continues to pursue the case, according to the department statement by Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of its tax division. Division Assistant Chief Attorney Thomas F. Koelbl and Trial Attorney George Meggali have been named as prosecutors, it said. No dates for court proceedings were announced.

“If convicted, Shearba and Cemini each face a maximum penalty of five years in prison for the conspiracy count, and each employment tax count,” according to the department. “Shearba also faces a maximum penalty of one year in prison for each count of failing to file a tax return.” Sentencing, if deemed necessary, would be determined by a federal district court judge.

Photo provided by the U.S. Department of Justice