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New Richmond woman indicted on tax crimes, mail fraud charges

Federal prosecutors allege a New Richmond businesswoman embezzled funds and stiffed the government for more than $240,000 in taxes.

According to an indictment filed Wednesday, Sept. 13, in U.S. District Court, charges 40-year-old Stephanie M. Johnson with 10 counts of tax crimes and five counts of mail fraud.

Johnson — also known by the last name Heidtke — was indicted by a grand jury following an IRS criminal investigation into activities at Paradigm Services Inc., where she was co-founder, vice president and treasurer. The New Richmond-based company provides group homes and home health care to adults with physical and mental disabilities, according to a news release.

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Prosecutors allege taxes withheld from Paradigm employees’ paychecks from 2011 to 2013 were not turned over to the IRS. The total amount was $240,528, according to the indictment.

The indictment alleges Johnson committed mail fraud “related to a scheme to defraud PSI.” Johnson allegedly misappropriated $197,230 in PSI funds for her personal use. The indictment states those funds were coded by Johnson as corporate expenses but were spent on meals, entertainment, clothing and other items.

The mail fraud counts each carry 20-year maximum penalties in federal court. Each tax-related count carries a maximum penalty of five years.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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