Aug. 27, 2013
Misty Volaski, email@example.com
Ojai’s Scott Titus was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison Monday for failing to report to the Internal Revenue Service almost $1.6 million in wages paid to employees of Scott Titus Painting. United States District Judge Stephen V. Wilson also ordered Titus to pay the IRS $666,748.40 in restitution.
The maximum sentence he could have received was three years in prison, repayment of the restitution and an additional fine of $250,000.
“I just wanted to make things right, and this is part of it,” Titus said Tuesday. “I am at peace with it, I really am … my family, my friends, and of course, my strong faith in God, I feel like there’s a purpose in everything, and this carries me through.”
The Titus investigation was conducted by the IRS Criminal Investigation office in Los Angeles, in conjunction with the Tax Division of the United States Attorneys’ Office. Titus pleaded guilty this spring to giving a false quarterly tax return for the second quarter of 2008. From 2008 to 2010, according to his plea agreement, Titus paid his employees in cash and did not properly report it on his quarterly and annual tax returns. In the second quarter of 2008, Titus paid employee wages of $215,774, although he reported paying $22,195.
According to IRS special agent Felicia McCain, Titus will begin his sentence Jan. 2., 2014. “I’m really thankful for that,” said Titus, adding that that extra time will allow him to get his affairs in order, spend time with family, and be on the sidelines of the Nordhoff High School football games again this fall.
While McCain was unable to confirm where Titus would serve his sentence, she did say Titus requested that he be housed in the Lompoc Federal Correction Complex. McClain also could not say whether Titus will serve his entire 18-month sentence or will be eligible for early release, and refused to comment on whether the IRS is investigating other individuals associated with Titus or his former painting company.
The IRS Los Angeles Criminal Investigation office said in a press release, “Titus painted residential and commercial properties and was paid by his clients in both cash and checks. Titus used the cash payments received from clients, along with cash derived from cashing checks and cash withdrawals from his business bank account, to pay his employees their wages in 2008, 2009 and 2010.”
Ultimately, Titus said, “If there’s anything I want the community to know, it’s that I feel blessed. I know I’ll be away for a while, but I have a great family great friends, and I know they’re going to be taken care of. … I don’t want them to worry — everything’s OK.”
Aug. 27, 2013