A former financial controller of an Omaha business has been sentenced to one year and a day in federal prison for failing to pay withholding taxes to the IRS.

Rolley D. Bennett, 53, also was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $31,576.19 to the IRS, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Prosecutors said Bennett, while working as controller for Diesel Power Equipment Company, failed to pay approximately $879,000 in payroll trust fund taxes to the IRS in 2013 and 2014. Diesel Power was a business that engaged in the distribution and repair of diesel engines, generators, pumps, parts and accessories, primarily to the mining, railroad, industrial equipment and agricultural irrigation industries.

“As the individual who controlled the finances, Mr. Bennett was entrusted to collect and turn over all IRS withholding taxes,” said Karl Stiften, special agent in charge of IRS criminal investigation. “Failure to remit those employment taxes resulted in the loss of tax revenue to the government and the possible loss of future Social Security or Medicare benefits for the employees.”

Bennett’s failure to make the payroll trust fund tax payments resulted in Diesel Power, an employer of 50 people, including 30 in Omaha, going out of business, prosecutors said. Bennett took steps to willfully conceal the nonpayment of Diesel Power employment taxes, prosecutors said.

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kevin.cole@owh.com, 402-444-1272

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