A longtime swimming pool installer shut down last summer by the Oklahoma Tax Commission for back taxes pleaded guilty in federal court Friday to not forwarding employees' payroll withholding taxes to the Internal Revenue Service.
Theodore Michael “Mike” Zachritz, of Nichols Hills, started Lifestyle Pools LLC in Oklahoma City in 1976. He failed to forward income taxes, Social Security taxes and Medicare taxes from late 2006 through 2009, U.S. Attorney Sanford C. Coats said. Zachritz was charged Jan. 22 and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris M. Stephens.
“At today's plea hearing, Zachritz admitted that he deducted and withheld more than $290,000 in payroll taxes from his employees' wages during that period,” prosecutors said in a news release. “He also admitted that he knew he was required by law to turn over to the IRS the withheld federal payroll taxes each quarter, but he did not do so. Zachritz admitted that he still has not paid over to the IRS any of the payroll taxes that he withheld from 2006 to 2009.”
Last summer, the state Tax Commission padlocked Lifestyle Pools' property, then at 8901 NW 10, for the same reason.
After a year of court proceedings, state authorities seized the property June 27 because Zachritz owed more than $220,000 in withholding taxes, interest and penalties. Zachritz agreed on July 5 to make payment, but the Tax Commission ordered Lifestyle Pools closed again July 19 for violating the agreement.
A spokesman for the Tax Commission could not be reached late Friday for an update on the state case. A spokesman for the state attorney general's office, which received numerous complaints about the company, said late Friday that updated information would not be available until Monday.
On the federal charge, Zachritz faced a potential sentence of up to five years in prison, a fine up to $250,000 and restitution to the IRS. In a plea agreement, Zachritz agreed to pay restitution to the IRS. The court will determine the amount of restitution at sentencing in about three months.