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Rapid City business owner Asher Wagh has been sentenced to federal prison for failing to pay over a quarter million dollars in payroll taxes to the government. The owner of an ammunition component manufacturing company, Wagh withheld money from employees’ paychecks between 2015 and 2017 and did not properly account for or pay the taxes.

Chief Judge Roberto Lange sentenced Wagh to 14 months in federal prison, followed by two years of supervised release. In addition to the prison term, Wagh was ordered to pay over $273,000 in restitution to the IRS. According to court documents, Wagh spent at least a portion of the money on his own personal use.

In February 2021, a federal grand jury indicted Wagh on 10 counts of failure to withhold, properly account for, and pay over tax. The company dissolved in July 2022, and Wagh pleaded guilty to one of the 10 counts in October 2023. In exchange, the government agreed to drop the other nine charges.

At sentencing, Wagh faced a maximum of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and up to three years of supervised release. Currently held at the Pennington County Jail awaiting transportation to a federal prison.

According to South Dakota crime statistics from the Office of Attorney General, this case serves as a reminder that tax evasion is a serious crime that can have significant consequences for individuals and businesses alike. It is important for all citizens and business owners to comply with their tax obligations and seek legal advice if they are unsure about their responsibilities.

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