RIVERSIDE, Calif. - A Coachella Valley pool service operator who cheated on his taxes for eight years was sentenced to 16 months in federal prison and ordered to pay the government $270,725.
Gary Mach, 58, of Palm Desert, pleaded guilty Aug. 18 to conspiracy to defraud the United States in connection with the illegal tax dodge that spanned from January 2002 to December 2010, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
U.S. District Judge John Kronstadt in Los Angeles imposed the sentence stipulated in the plea agreement.
In addition to the prison term and requirement to pay restitution, Kronstadt ordered that Mach serve two months home detention and 18 months felony probation.
According to court papers, Mach's income tax evasion was discovered during an investigation that began in March 2007.
``You may be able to do this kind of thing for a while, and the government may not discover it immediately, but eventually the IRS will find out if you're not complying with the law,'' said Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandra Brown, who handled the prosecution.
Brown, who supervises the U.S. Attorney's Los Angeles Tax Division, says that Mach operated Crystal Springs Pool Service, serving locations throughout Riverside County.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, the defendant established fictitious trusts into which assets were deposited with the deliberate intent of concealing pool business profits that should have been declared on income tax forms.
Court documents stated that one such trust was Quintessential, a name under which a bank account was opened.
From 2002 to 2010, federal investigators allege Mach failed to report $1.4 million in business earnings. Of that amount, $270,000 was owed in taxes, according to the government.
Prosecutors said that when the IRS audit was triggered in 2007, Mach closed the Quintessential bank account in an attempt to impede the investigation.
According to court papers, Mach employed five to 10 people at any given time, though none were implicated in the fraud.