WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (WAVY) — A former Williamsburg businessman was sentenced to more than two years in prison for tax fraud.
62-year-old Michael J. Tiernan was sentenced on Wednesday to 27 months in prison and ordered to pay $111,079.32 to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
The sentence comes nearly six months after he was convicted of filing false tax returns and failing to file a tax return.
In 2015 and 2016, prosecutors say Tiernan filed federal income tax returns that “falsely understated” the income he received from these businesses.
Although Tiernan reported some earnings in both years, he offset his claimed income with high deductions that resulted in zero taxable income for both 2015 and 2016 and also claimed to be insolvent in order to exclude the discharge of debt in 2015.
Further evidence revealed that Tiernan received underreported income from those businesses of at least $289,401 in 2015 and at least $204,523 in 2016.
Prosecutors say he actually cashed many of the checks he wrote and received from these entities and deposited cash into his personal bank account. Investigators also found that he failed to file a tax return for 2017, despite receiving $111,352 from one business.
From 2015 to 2017, he deposited over $1.6 million into his personal bank account and spent nearly all of these funds in a combination of checks and debit card transactions.
According to court records, Tiernan was a financial officer for several business entities related to Ford’s Colony, including Ford’s Colony Realty, LLC, a large resort community in Williamsburg, from at least 2014 through 2017.