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BUFFALO, NY (WIVB) — A North Tonawanda businessman has been sentenced to four years probation for tax evasion totaling more than $3 million, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

George Ward, 57, operated a fire protection and inspection business in Amherst between 2015 and 2020. During that time, he failed to file income tax returns and paid income, Social Security and Medicare taxes withheld from his employees’ pay, resulting in a tax loss to the IRS of $953,793. He also failed to file taxes with the New York Department of Taxes and Finance, resulting in a loss of $165,645.

In addition, Ward made false statements to an IRS tax agent regarding his tax return and business status, used a check cashing business to cash over $2 million in customer checks instead of depositing them into his business’s bank account, and deposited cash from the business into a bank account in his wife’s name.

He was convicted of tax evasion. He was ordered to pay a total of $2,635,542,666 in restitution to the IRS and a total of $646,770 to the state.

He will spend the first six months of his probation under house arrest and the second six months under house arrest.

Aidan Joly joined the News 4 team in 2022. He is a graduate of Canisius College. You can find more of his work here.

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