Tax Cheat Sentenced To Prison For Failing To Pay Employee Taxes

James Philip Piccolo, 65, of Scottsdale, Arizona was sentenced on Wednesday to 18 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. He also was ordered to pay $651,478 in restitution to the IRS and a $10,000 fine. Piccolo pleaded guilty in January 2023 to one count of failing to pay the IRS federal income taxes withheld from employees.

Piccolo co-founded Tecademics, LLC in 2016 and founded IQUP, Inc. in 2017. Both Tecademics and IQUP instructed clients in how to manage online businesses and conduct marketing efforts on the internet. In his plea agreement, Piccolo admitted that he was responsible for submitting any tax payments to the IRS for both companies.

Between 2017 and 2018, Piccolo received business tax returns prepared by Tecademics’s and IQUP’s bookkeeper. Those returns reported employees’ wages for each quarter, as well as the portion of the wages withheld by the employer for state and federal taxes. Piccolo admitted that he knew that he was required to pay those taxes to the IRS. For the tax periods between January 2017 and April 2018, however, Piccolo did not pay the taxes owed by Tecademics and IQUP. In total, Piccolo failed to pay $651,478 in taxes to the IRS.

“The conviction and sentencing of the defendant are the results of an effort by the Internal Revenue Service to vindicate the rights of honest business owners by holding scofflaws to account,” said U.S. Attorney Gary Restaino. “Instead of following the law, Piccolo breached his employees’ trust by failing to pay the taxes withheld on their behalf.”

This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Aron Ketchel, District of Arizona, Phoenix, handled the prosecution.