Cushing couple charged with multiple tax crimes

Date of Release

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Revenue announced that the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office recently charged Scott Lawrence Ziegler and Kristine Elizabeth Ziegler, both of Cushing, with six felony counts each of failing to file individual income tax returns and two felony counts each of failing to file withholding tax returns.

According to the complaints, the Zieglers willfully failed to file their state income tax returns for tax years 2016 through 2021 and failed to file withholding tax returns for their business, Prism Powder Coating, for tax years 2020 and 2021. The complaints allege that the Zieglers both earned enough money from the business to be required to file individual income tax returns and pay income tax in Minnesota. According to the complaints, Ms. Ziegler served as the bookkeeper for the business and told investigators that she knew of their obligation to file withholding tax returns but failed to do so. According to the complaints, Mr. Ziegler owes over $258,000 in income tax, penalties, and interest. Prism Powder Coating allegedly owes more than $20,700 in withholding tax, penalties, and interest.

Each tax-related felony charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, a $10,000 fine, or both. Defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Although most taxpayers comply with tax laws voluntarily, the department takes enforcement action against noncompliant taxpayers to ensure that tax laws are administered fairly.

Many of the department’s criminal case referrals come from public tips. There is a 24-hour tip line for anyone who suspects that a person or business is violating Minnesota tax laws. Local callers may dial 651-297-5195 or call toll-free by dialing 1-800-657-3500. Tips can also be submitted to the department by email at Tipsters may choose to remain anonymous. 

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Ryan Brown