June 4 (UPI) -- Four individuals involved in an investigation of vendors who performed maintenance on United States Postal Service vehicles pleaded guilty to federal tax charges.
Ronald Long, 54, and Cheryl Melton Long, 48, Gary Neirinckx, 60, and Donald Tonks, 57, pleaded guilty to charges of federal tax fraud and evasion in Providence, R.I., the Department of Justice announced Monday.
Both Ronald Long and Cheryl Melton Long pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States on June 1, after they provided false information to their tax return preparer and filed false tax returns which did not accurately report their individual and household income.
They also filed false corporate and income tax returns from 2012 through 2015 and didn't file a federal income tax return for 2011.
Neirinckx pleaded guilty to one count of filing a false tax return on May 23, after he failed to report a $66,300 payment he received from the Longs on his tax returns and admitted he fabricated deductions for charitable contributions he reported on his tax returns.
Tonks pleaded guilty to one count of failure to file a tax return on Feb. 22, after he stopped filing federal income tax returns around the time he became employed by the Longs.
He was sentenced to two years probation in May and ordered to perform 200 hours of community service and pay $92,624 as full restitution to the IRS.
The charges stemmed from an investigation into billing by companies controlled by the Longs, which provided mechanical repair work to United States Postal Service vehicles.
"By dollar amount, the Longs' businesses were the largest non-fuel vendor of the Postal Service in Rhode Island between 2006 and 2014," the Justice Department said.
Ronald Long directed and controlled the business, while Cheryl Long managed the financial records. They employed Tonks until about Sept. 2014 and opened a business with Neirinckx, a Postmaster in Warwick, R.I., who utilized their services and connected them to other Postmasters.
In addition to the tax charges, the investigation revealed the Longs were paying most of their living expenses using their personal bank account and were paying employees in cash.
Investigators also found a series of checks to be made out to cash with the letter "G" written in the memo line and it was revealed the checks were cashed with the same amounts simultaneously deposited into Neirinckx's personal bank account by Cheryl Long.