U.S. Steel Pole Maker President Pleads Guilty to $1M Tax Evasion

He told a vendor to classify payments as reimbursements instead of income.

From 2014 to 2019, Phillip Albert was president of Pelco Structural, a steel pole manufacturer in Oklahoma.

During this time, the company president and co-founder ordered his third-party payroll service provider to pay him more than $2.6 million. 

Albert told the vendor to classify the payments as reimbursements instead of income so he could skirt paying federal income taxes. 

The scheme led to a tax loss of more than $1 million. On Friday, Albert pleaded guilty to tax evasion and he faces up to five years in prison. 

He also faces restitution and other monetary penalties as well as a period of supervised release to be determined by a federal district court judge. 

Pelco Structural makes pole assemblies that are used in the traffic control, utility, lighting and communication industries. 

Albert resigned from Pelco Structural in April 2019 amid accusations that he embezzled at least $7.4 million from the company. 

While he was president, Albert would “write on a scrap piece of paper whatever amount he wanted me to submit as a special reimbursement for him,” his former accountant said.

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