GREAT FALLS — Trennis Baer of Great Falls was sentenced in federal court on Thursday for employment tax fraud, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Baer owned and operated Baer Construction in Great Falls. Beginning in 2010 and continuing through 2018, Baer did not file quarterly employment tax returns, nor did he pay employment taxes withheld from his employees’ wages to the IRS.
Baer did not comply with these legal requirements, even though the company’s outside accountant from at least 2013 on prepared employment tax returns to be filed and calculated the taxes due.
In addition to spurning his employment tax obligations, Baer willfully did not file personal income tax returns for the years 2001 to 2006, 2008, and 2010 to 2018. The total tax loss to the IRS from Baer’s conduct is more than $1.5 million.
U.S. District Judge Brian Morris ordered Baer to serve 15 months in prison, followed by two years of supervised release. Baer was also ordered to pay $935,251 in restitution to the United States.
IRS Criminal Investigation investigated the case. Trial Attorneys Matthew Hoffman and Eric Taffet of the Justice Department’s Tax Division prosecuted the case.