Asher Wagh, the owner of an ammunition component manufacturing business in Rapid City, was sentenced to federal prison for failing to pay a quarter million dollars of payroll taxes to the government. The CEO, who was also a co-owner of the company, withheld money from employees’ paychecks between 2015 and 2017 but did not pay the IRS.
According to court documents, he spent at least a portion of the money for his own personal use. In February 2021, a federal grand jury indicted Wagh on 10 counts of failure to withhold, properly account for, and pay over tax. The company dissolved in July 2022, and Wagh pleaded guilty to one of the 10 counts in October 2023. In exchange, the government agreed to drop the other nine charges.
At sentencing, Wagh faced a maximum of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and up to three years of supervised release. However, Chief Judge Roberto Lange sentenced him to 14 months in federal prison followed by two years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay over $273,000 in restitution to the IRS. Wagh is currently held at the Pennington County Jail awaiting transportation to a federal prison.
According to South Dakota crime statistics from the Office of Attorney General, there were approximately 879 cases involving tax crimes between January 1st and June 3oth this year alone (Source: [Office of Attorney General]. For more information about South Dakota crime statistics or any other topic related