Virginia Beach man pleads guilty for failing to pay over $1 million in payroll taxes

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – A 61-year-old Virginia Beach man pleaded guilty Friday for failing to pay nearly $1 million in payroll taxes to the IRS.

Court documents say Michael Popina was the president and owner of Chesapeake Coatings & Decks, Inc., a painting and sandblasting company that was hired primarily by government contractors and marine businesses.

From 2010-2013, Popina failed to pay the IRS approximately $130,000 in payroll taxes that were withheld from employees paychecks for federal tax purposes.

During an IRS investigation, agents discovered Popina was using another scheme to avoid paying payroll taxes. Employee pay was separated into two checks. The first check was sent to Popina’s payroll company, taxes were withheld, and the income was reported to the IRS.

But the second check was not sent to the payroll company, taxes were not withheld, and the income was not reported to the IRS.

Using this system, Popina failed to account for approximately $4 million and he failed to pay the IRS approximately $950,000 in payroll taxes.

Popina pleaded guilty for failing to pay payroll tax and faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison. He is scheduled to be sentenced on October 2.