Former Springfield business owner pleads guilty to tax evasion

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (Edited News Release) -- An Ozark, Missouri, man pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to failing to pay more than $300,000 in employment taxes for his businesses in Springfield.

John P. Hardwick, 51, waived his right to an indictment and pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge David P. Rush to a federal information that charges him with attempting to evade taxation.

Hardwick owned and operated JTBT Investments, LLC, and Hardwick Quartz & Granite, LLC, both located in Springfield. Hardwick accumulated $306,298 in employment tax liabilities as an employer from 1994 through 2016, and failed to pay the money to the IRS.

In 2016, the IRS issued a Notice of Intent to Levy, which notified Hardwick that the IRS would contact individuals and entities that conducted business with him and notify those customers of the fact that he owed the IRS money. This notice would also direct customers to pay any monies due to Hardwick to the IRS instead, as a means of collecting on the amount due.

Hardwick then directed at least two of his customers to disregard the IRS levies; he also told them he would not complete their ongoing projects if they paid the IRS instead of him.

Under federal statutes, Hardwick is subject to a sentence of up to five years in federal prison without parole. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Casey Clark. It was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation.

Read the original version of this article at www.ky3.com.