Henry County pharmacist pleads guilty to $5 million employment tax fraud

Only one employment tax return filed within 15 years

By Madison Smith - Intern
Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved

WASHINGTON - A Henry County pharmacist pleaded guilty Thursday for failing to pay more than $5 million in over-employment taxes.

Jerry R. Harper, Jr., 61, owned and operated Family Discount Pharmacy Inc. in Stanleytown, Virginia, with other locations in Stuart, Rocky Mount, Chatham and Brosville, according to court documents.

From 1998 through 2014, $5 million of employment tax liabilities were accrued; however, while Harper withheld the taxes from employees' wages, he didn't pay the taxes to the IRS.

Over 15 years, Harper only filed one employment tax return with the IRS.

Harper admitted that he didn't provide the employment taxes to the IRS and used that money to pay his personal expenses.

Harper wired more than $1 million to his personal bank account, made more than $500,000 in stock market investments, spent more than $100,000 on his son's pharmacy school tuition, and purchased more than $370,000 of real estate property in Virginia and North Carolina, according to the Department of Justice. He also used the money to buy a Jeep Grand Cherokee and a jet ski.

His sentencing is scheduled Oct. 26. He faces a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties.

Copyright 2018 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.