The owner of a staffing company providing temporary labor to marine businesses in Texas and elsewhere was sentenced Thursday to three years in federal prison for not paying employment taxes.

Richard Floyd Tatum, 57, owned Houston-based Associated Marine & Industrial Staffing and employed about 1,000 people, officials said.

He pleaded guilty to one count of failing to pay employment taxes, officials said.

Tatum was responsible for collecting and paying payroll taxes to the IRS, officials said.

Through filing false tax returns, Tatum withheld about $12 million in payroll taxes and failed to pay $6 million for the company’s share of social security and other taxes, officials said.

Tatum instead used the money to make payments on his ranch and on vacations to Las Vegas, Hawaii and France, officials said.

Federal prosecutors believe the total tax loss was more than $18 million, officials said.

In addition to the three-year sentence, Tatum will serve three years of supervised release and pay $18.3 million to the IRS, officials said.

Matt deGrood: 409-683-5230; matt.degrood@galvnews.com

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