An Internal Revenue Service employee who owned a Sears Hometown Store on the side has pleaded guilty to concealing records in a U.S. Department of Labor investigation of his retail employees’ wages and hours.
The U.S. Attorney for the District of Vermont said that Richard Andersen, 46, of Franklin, Vt., pleaded guilty Monday in U.S. District Court in Burlington to a charge of concealing records in a federal Department of Labor Investigation. U.S. District Judge William K. Sessions III released Andersen on conditions pending sentencing, which has been set for Nov. 26, 2012.
A federal grand jury in Burlington returned a four-count indictment in February charging Andersen with various crimes relating to obstructing a Department of Labor Wage and Hour investigation in early 2011 focused on Andersen’s business, a Sears Hometown Store in St. Albans.
According to court records, Andersen worked full-time in Burlington for the IRS as an investigator in connection with the IRS’s fuel tax program. He was allowed to own the Sears Hometown store outside of his IRS employment. He has been suspended from the IRS since the charges were brought.
In early 2011, investigators from the Department of Labor in Vermont began an administrative investigation concerning the store’s compliance wage and hour regulations. As part of the investigation, DOL investigators requested and then subpoenaed store records, including timecards for employees. Andersen admitted in court that he concealed the existence of the store timecards, failing to disclose them during the investigation, which was resolved by DOL in 2011. Andersen faces up to 20 years of imprisonment and fines of up to $250,000.