Louisiana Business Owner Sentenced to Prison and Ordered to Pay Over $2 Million in Restitution After Failing to Pay Taxes

By Orion Blake
Published August 17, 2023

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New Orleans, Louisiana – A Louisiana business owner has been sentenced to prison and ordered to pay over $2 million in restitution after failing to pay taxes.

On August 15, 2023, United States Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that U.S. District Judge Susie Morgan sentenced Cornel Martin Sr., a 63 years old man from Thibodaux, Louisiana, to a year in prison and three years of supervised release. 

Martin was convicted for failure to report and pay federal income and Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) taxes, violating Title 26 of the United States Code, Section 7202. Martin was also ordered by Judge Morgan to pay the IRS $2,681,379.96 and was charged with a compulsory special assessment fee of $100.

Court records reveal that Martin owned and ran numerous businesses in Terre Haute Parish, all of which supplied temporary labor to shipyards and offshore oil rigs. As the sole owner, Martin had total control over the financial aspect of these companies. From 2012 to 2021, despite his businesses deducting taxes from employee wages, Martin neglected to submit the deducted taxes to the IRS as mandated. This deliberate evasion of responsibility to track and pay trust fund taxes and other business-related taxes from 2012 to 2021 resulted in a loss ranging from $1,500,000 to $3,500,000 to the IRS.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office expressed its appreciation for the efforts of the Internal Revenue Service regarding this case. The case prosecution is overseen by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brandon S. Long from the Financial Crimes Unit.