Thrice-Convicted Rhode Island Businessman Sentenced for Pocketing Employee Federal Withholding Taxes
(STL.News) A Rhode Island businessman convicted of misusing more than a half-million dollars in employment taxes collected from his employees to finance his own personal expenditures, including rent payments on a luxury home and fess for online dating services, has been sentenced to nearly three years in federal prison, announced United States Attorney Zachary A. Cunha.
Steven M. Allard, 60, of North Scituate, owner and operator of BR Steel Corporation in Burrillville and Greystone Iron Corporation in Smithfield, previously admitted in court that from at least 2017 through 2018, he failed to turn over to the IRS more than $570,000 in federal employment taxes and FICA payments withheld from his employees. Instead, Allard used the money to pay for personal expenditures including the purchase of more than $216,000 in “credits” to an online dating website, RussianBrides.com, and $93,000 in rent payments for a luxury home in Scituate.
Allard pleaded guilty on September 20, 2020, to willful failure to collect or pay over taxes. He was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Chief Judge John J. McConnell, Jr., to 33 months in federal prison to be followed by three years of federal supervised release; and pay $625,186.29 restitution to the IRS.
This case marks the third federal conviction and sentencing of Allard in U.S. District Court in Rhode Island. In 2009, Allard pleaded guilty to tax evasion and bankruptcy fraud and was sentenced to 30 months in prison. In that matter, Allard admitted that from March 2005 to July 2006, he diverted for his own use $1.6 million dollars due the IRS; and that he made false statements about real estate holdings in a bankruptcy filing in 2005. Prior to that, Allard was found guilty by a jury at trial of accepting kickbacks from public employees and was sentenced to 10 months in federal prison.
Allard’s most recent federal case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandra R. Hebert.
The matter was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, the FBI, and the U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration.