A New York ambulance service business owner pleaded guilty on July 20 to failure to pay employment taxes.
According to court documents and admissions made in court, Steven J. Kwestel, of Lawrence, owned and operated Courtesy Transportation Inc. (Courtesy Transportation), a Brooklyn business that provided ambulance services. As the person who exercised control over Courtesy Transportation’s financial and business operations, Kwestel had a duty to truthfully account for and pay over to the IRS payroll taxes owed by its employees. From 2013 through 2019, Kwestel withheld employment taxes from his employees’ paychecks but did not pay over to the IRS $1,302,841 in taxes owed. Rather than paying the taxes due to the IRS, Kwestel used corporate funds to make hundreds of thousands of dollars of expenditures for his and his family’s personal benefit.
Kwestel is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 20 and faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison. He also faces a period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties. As part of his plea agreement, Kwestel has agreed to pay back over $1.2 million. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division made the announcement.
IRS Criminal Investigation is investigating the case.
Trial Attorneys Shawn Noud and Anahi Cortada of the Tax Division are prosecuting the case.
Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the division’s website at www.justice.gov/tax.