(Cambria) A Cambria woman is facing federal charges for failing to pay payroll and other taxes for her business in Rio. A federal grand jury in Madison charged Christa Johnson in a 17-count indictment for impeding the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) between July 2015 to January 2017.
The 56-year-old was the owner of Johnson Sausage Shoppe, a meat processing plant, grocery store, and catering business. The indictment alleges that she failed to pay the IRS in federal income taxes, social security taxes, and Medicare taxes withheld from the wages of her employees. Each of those seven counts carries a maximum five-year prison sentence.
In addition, during this same time period, Johnson reportedly failed to pay the IRS all of the employer’s share of Social Security and Medicare (FICA) taxes due on behalf of the company. The indictment further alleges that Johnson failed to pay federal unemployment taxes in 2015 and 2016. Each of those nine counts carries a maximum one-year prison sentence. Overall, Johnson is accused of failing to pay $155,936 in taxes owed.
The last count of the indictment charges Johnson with Corruptly Endeavoring to Obstruct and Impede the IRS in their collection efforts to obtain payment of the unpaid taxes and their investigation into Johnson’s failure to pay the taxes. Investigators say she intentionally withheld corporate records requested by a grand jury subpoena issued to her business and that she lied, implicating other individuals she claimed were responsible for the failure to pay the taxes. In convicted on that charge, the maximum sentence would be three years in prison.
The charges against Johnson are the result of an investigation by IRS Criminal Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Graber is handling the prosecution.