A Berks County businessman has been charged with tax fraud for allegedly failing to pay the IRS more than $4.5 million in taxes he withheld from his employees' paychecks.
The U.S. attorney's office announced the charges Monday against Harvey G. Bitler Sr., the owner of Big H Farms and BH Farms.
Big H Farms provides labor for mushroom growing facilities and BH Farms employs salaried employees associated with the operation and management of Big H Farms, officials said.
The companies withheld Medicare, Social Security and income taxes from their employees' paychecks but, between 2007 and 2012, made no payments of the withheld taxes to the IRS, according to federal authorities.
Authorities also allege that, between 2008 and 2012, BH Farms did not pay all the taxes withheld in the first quarter of 2008 and made no payments to the IRS for the remaining quarters of those years.
The amount of money Bitler withheld but failed to pay to the IRS totaled $4,566,572.04, officials said.
If convicted, Bitler, 56, of Shillington, faces up to five years in prison and possible restitution to the IRS.