Hot Springs Business Owner Pleads Guilty to Tax Evasion

Hot Springs Business Owner Pleads Guilty to Tax Evasion

A Hot Springs businessman who didn’t file or pay taxes for nine years pleaded guilty Friday to tax evasion for not paying $507,000 in federal income taxes.

Jerry Christopher Wade, 43, waived indictment and pleaded guilty to a criminal information that charged him with tax evasion, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Arkansas.

Wade owned and operated Four Seasons Landscaping of Hot Springs Village, and between 2011 and 2019, Wade didn’t file federal income tax returns, the news release said.

During that period, customers paid Wade $2.5 million in checks. But he didn’t deposit all of the checks in bank account. Instead, he received cash back from a bank that totaled $878,983.

Wade admitted to federal agents he knew he was required to file his tax returns, the release said. “Wade told agents he did not keep business records, including records documenting income or expenses,” the release said.

Wade also said he didn’t issue tax forms to his employees or himself and he didn’t keep payroll records for the wages he paid to himself or his workers.

Wade also admitted he dodged paying taxes by taking several steps including using cash for business transactions and asking customers to write multiple checks in amounts of less than $10,000 to avoid bank reporting requirements.

Wade said he also didn’t bother to file income taxes with the state of Arkansas.

He agreed to pay restitution, including penalties and interest to the U.S. Treasury and Arkansas Department of Finance & Administration.

Wade is scheduled to be sentenced at a later date and faces up to five years in federal prison.