The co-owner of the largest chain of radio stations in Wyoming has pleaded guilty to defrauding the IRS by hiding $10 million in business revenue and $9.5 million in personal income.
Cody resident Susan Patrick, who co-owns Patrick Communications and Legend Communications with husband Larry Patrick, operates more than 20 radio stations in Cody, Worland, Sheridan, Buffalo and Gillette under the Big Horn brand of networks. The couple also has owned television stations in California and Connecticut.
Patrick has pleaded guilty to one count of willfully submitting a false tax return and can get up to three years in prison and be fined up to $250,000 when she’s sentenced Dec. 19, according to her plea agreement with federal prosecutors signed March 3 and filed with the court Thursday.
Patrick also has to make good on more than $2.5 million in restitution for the taxes she didn’t pay, according to the plea agreement.
As part of the agreement, Patrick has admitted to willfully defrauding the IRS with her business and personal tax filings.
The IRS began investigating the Patricks in 2016 for irregularities noticed in their business and personal filings for tax years 2012-2014 when their accounting firm prepared their tax forms and sent them to the Patricks with instructions to file them.
“But while the defendant received these completed forms each year, she did not file them with the IRS,” according to Susan Patrick’s statement of facts filed with the plea agreement.
While investigating that, the IRS also learned she hadn’t filed corporate or personal returns and requested she file them.
“In response, the defendant lied to the IRS, falsely claiming that her accountants had timely filed the returns in question,” the statement says. “She also stated that she would provide the IRS with copies of those returns.”
Instead, Susan Patrick admits in her plea that she “doctored the tax returns prepared by her accountants to conceal income,” according to the filing. “She falsely reduced the total income reported on each Form 1040.”
On other forms, she also removed $10 million in receipts earned by Patrick Communications. And on her personal 1040 forms, “she removed over $9.5 million in income that the defendant and her husband had earned from 2012 through 2014.”
Patrick also doctored the forms by backdating her signatures on each form “to make it appear as if the returns had been timely signed,” the statement says.
Leo Wolfson can be reached at Leo@CowboyStateDaily.com.