A swimming pool installer who left customers with huge holes or partially completed pools in their yards was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison Tuesday.
The crime: failing to forward employees' payroll tax withholdings to the Internal Revenue Service.
Theodore Michael Zachritz, of Nichols Hills, owner of Lifestyle Pools LLC, also was ordered to pay $461,363 in restitution to the IRS, said Sanford C. Coats, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma.
The company owner, known as Mike Zachritz, deducted and withheld federal income taxes, Social Security taxes, and Medicare taxes from the wages his employees and was supposed to pay them to the IRS at the end of each quarter.
In January, federal prosecutors charged Zachritz with failing to follow the law for the third quarter of 2006 through the end of 2009.
Zachritz pleaded guilty to one count on Jan. 31, Coats said.
U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton also sentenced Zachritz to three years of supervised release. He must report to federal prison on July 26.
Zachritz's troubles started in 2011, when the Oklahoma Tax Commission took him to state court seeking state withholding taxes, interest and penalties of more than $220,000.
After a year, the commission shut down Lifestyle Pools and padlocked the premises at 8901 NW 10 on June 27. Customers with unfinished pools were left in the lurch.
The Tax Commission again arranged for Zachritz to make payments and allowed Lifestyle Pools to reopen on July 5. He failed to comply and two weeks later the commission asked a judge to order the business shut down.
The status of the state case could not be determined late Tuesday.