Business News

Charles A. Lanphier gets four years in tax fraud scheme

Feds say Lafayette businessman withheld about $6 million in employee taxes and kept them for himself.

On Aug. 6, Charles Lanphier of Layette was sentenced to four years in federal prison for a tax fraud scheme the feds say he perpetuated from 2005-2011, withholding employee tax contributions but never forwarding them to the IRS.

Middle District of Louisiana U.S. Attorney Walt Green confirmed in a press release that U.S. District Judge Shelly D. Dick sentenced the 69-year-old owner of Regional Healthcare, a Baton Rouge-based diversified health care company with operations in Louisiana and Florida, for his role in the years-long employment tax scheme that defrauded the U.S. Treasury out of nearly $6 million. Lanphier was immediately remanded into custody to begin serving his sentence.

Following his release from prison, he will be required to serve a two-year term of supervised release and must make $5.98 million in restitution to the U.S. government.

On Dec. 1, 2014, Lanphier pleaded guilty, acknowledging at the time that he did withhold employment tax contributions from his employees, but failed to both file quarterly employment tax returns and to forward the taxes collected to the IRS. His scheme lasted from 2008 through 2011, he said at the time of the guilty plea, and caused a loss of more than $2.5 million.

At the Aug. 6 sentencing, however, the court found that the illegal activity stretched back to 2005 and caused a loss of nearly $6 million.

Lanphier’s employees were equally hurt by the scheme.

“Charles Lanphier willfully failed to pay over employment taxes withheld from employee wages. He used his business, Regional Healthcare, to commit a fraud that ultimately resulted in the loss of tax revenue to the United States government and the loss of future Social Security and Medicare benefits for the affected employees,” Jerome R. McDuffie, Special Agent in Charge, IRS-Criminal Investigation, stated in the press release. “It is especially important to all of the hardworking taxpayers that Mr. Lanphier was held accountable for the widespread harm he caused.”