Williamsburg businessman convicted of tax fraud

Posted at 9:19 AM, Oct 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-31 09:19:41-04

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - A Williamsburg man was convicted by a federal jury on charges of filing false tax returns and failure to file a tax return.

According to court documents, from at least 2014 through 2017, 62-year-old Michael J. Tiernan served as the financial officer for a number of business entities related to Ford's Colony, including Ford's Colony Realty, LLC, a large resort community in Williamsburg.

For tax years 2015 and 2016, Tiernan filed federal income tax returns that falsely understated the income he received from these entities. Court documents say he reported some earnings in both years, but offset his claimed income with high deductions that resulted in zero taxable income for both 2015 and 2016.

Evidence at trial showed Tiernan received underreported income from the business entities — at least $289,401 in 2015 and at least $204,523 in 2016.

Tiernan then cashed many of the checks he wrote and received from these entities and deposited cash into his personal bank account.

From 2015 to 2017, Tiernan deposited over $1.6 million into his personal bank account and spent nearly all of these funds in a combination of checks and debit card transactions, while preparing and filing business tax returns concealing the true compensation he received.

Tiernan faces a maximum penalty of seven years in prison when sentenced on March 2, 2022.