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For Immediate Release
April 2, 2004
Media Contact:
Kevin Enright 410-576-6357

PRESIDENT OF FUNERAL HOME SENTENCED FOR FAILING TO REMIT WITHHOLDING TAXES

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. and State Comptroller William Donald Schaefer jointly announced today that Franklin C. Showell, 62, the president of Nutter Funeral Homes, Inc., located at 2501 Gwynn Falls Road, in Baltimore City, was sentenced March 18 by the Honorable Joseph P. Manck of the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County on the charge of failure to remit withholding taxes. On March 5, Showell entered an "Alford" plea in which he acknowledged the State had sufficient evidence with which to convict him beyond a reasonable doubt, and which has been held by the Supreme Court to be the equivalent to a guilty plea. At the sentencing hearing, Manck struck the guilty finding and sentenced Showell to probation before judgment and placed him on one year of probation. Showell paid $34,943.40, the amount of unremitted withholding taxes, to the Comptroller’s Office on March 5 at the time of his plea.

In 1987, Showell applied on behalf of Nutter Funeral Homes, Inc. for a combined registration business license to withhold taxes from employee wages and the payment of unemployment tax. As president of the corporation, he was responsible for reporting and remitting withholding taxes to the Comptroller. Between February 2000 and March 2001, Showell failed to remit $34,943.40 in withholding tax that he reported was due to the Comptroller.

The case is part of an ongoing partnership between the Attorney General’s Office and the Comptroller’s Office to hold delinquent taxpayers with the largest unresolved tax liabilities criminally responsible when all efforts at collections by the Comptroller have failed. It was referred by the Compliance Division of the Comptroller’s Office and investigated by the Maryland State Police and prosecuted by the Criminal Investigations Division of the Attorney General’s Office.

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