Pittsburgh Mineral Company President Pleads Guilty to False Tax Return

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PITTSBURGH, PA — The president of a Pittsburgh-area mineral company pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court to a charge of filing a false income tax return, announced Acting United States Attorney Troy Rivetti.

Paul J. Austin pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge Arthur Schwab.

In connection with the guilty plea, the Court was advised that from 2012 through 2017, the defendant was the President of J.P. Austin Associates, Inc., a mineral processing company in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. For calendar years 2012 through 2017, the defendant and his spouse, who served as the company’s Treasurer, jointly filed annual Form 1040 federal income tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

The defendant admitted in Court that during the relevant time period, payments were made from company accounts for college expenses, which were falsely categorized as business expenses using fictitious vendor names. The return preparer for Mr. Austin and his spouse was not informed about these college expense payments, and the payments were not included as taxable income on Form 1040 returns that were ultimately filed with the IRS. Thus, the defendant willfully made and subscribed Form 1040 returns for calendar years 2012 through 2017 that materially underreported his taxable income. In connection with his guilty plea, the defendant agreed to pay restitution to the IRS in the amount of $159,982.00, plus interest.

Judge Schwab scheduled sentencing for July 19, 2023. The law provides for a maximum sentence of three years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

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Assistant United States Attorney David Lew is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation conducted the investigation leading to the Information in this case.

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