Cinema owner pleads guilty to tax evasion

GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN —Elaine Dawson, 69, of Bellaire, Michigan, pleaded
guilty today to one count of tax evasion, U.S. Attorney Patrick A. Miles, Jr. announced today.

According to Court records, Dawson owned five cinemas in Bellaire, Petoskey, Gaylord,
Mackinaw City, and Cheboygan, Michigan. Dawson evaded corporate and personal taxes by routinely under-reporting the number of patrons who had bought movie tickets, and underreporting receipts from concessions, gift certificates and other items sold at the theaters.

Dawson skimmed off the cash from the unreported sales for personal use, and disclosed only the remaining sales as income when preparing her tax returns.

Although she pled guilty to evasion for tax year 2006, the defendant admitted that she
deliberately failed to pay approximately $988,366 in taxes between 2004 and 2010. In addition to a sentence of up to five years’ imprisonment and a $250,000 fine, the defendant will be required to pay her unpaid tax balance.

“This country recognizes many rights and privileges, but it also requires responsibility,”
said U.S. Attorney Miles. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office will not stand by when someone shirks that responsibility for her own profit, leaving others – many of them far less fortunate than Ms. Dawson – to shoulder the nation’s burdens.”

“Dawson chose to live a lavish lifestyle. She used the cash from the unreported sales for
her own use,” said Special Agent in Charge Erick Martinez of IRS Criminal Investigation,
“Dawson knew the law and deliberately concealed income in order to paying part of the taxes she owed.”

The investigation was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service, and prosecuted by
Assistant U.S. Attorney Nils R. Kessler.