In the largest criminal Internal Revenue Service (IRS) investigation in the Pee Dee region’s history, twelve defendants from seven construction-related enterprises were convicted for employment tax fraud offenses and charges linked to recruiting unlawful foreigners. The convictions are the first to result from an extensive multi-year undercover operation launched by the IRS and Homeland Security Investigations in the Myrtle Beach region and around the South Carolina coast (HSI). The investigation targeted construction companies that employed unlicensed check cashers to enable under-the-table cash payments to employees, many of whom were illegal foreigners. The check cashers would also falsify insurance certificates, claiming that workers’ compensation insured the employees. The United States was cheated of applicable employment taxes on the employees due to these off-the-books payments. Assistant US Attorney Derek Shoemake said they’d meet with a person, sometimes literally in a grocery store or fast-food parking lots, and they’d swap a check for a bag of cash. They’d also be given a bogus certificate of insurance. If an inspector arrived at the working site, they’d be able to demonstrate to him that all of these workers are legitimate. These defendants cashed at least $15 million in checks, causing the government to lose millions of dollars. According to the research, similar tactics have resulted in at least tens of millions of dollars in tax losses throughout the South Carolina coast. The defendants, none of whom had a criminal record before the inquiry, are now all convicted felons. Many face deportation, have lost their homes and are facing financial ruin, and will never be able to return to the profession they have spent their lives pursuing. This case should serve as a warning to corporations and individuals who try to get an advantage by breaching the law – It’s not worth it because they’re watching and will prosecute you. According to the evidence provided to the court, the IRS and HSI began investigating illegal check-cashing in the construction business in the Myrtle Beach area and other areas along the South Carolina coast in late 2018. Each defendant was sentenced to five years of probation by Chief United States District Judge R. Bryan Harwell, with all except one receiving home confinement. In addition, the Court ordered that each Defendant pay compensation to the Government for the tax losses they generated. The probation sentences were imposed in part because the defendants admitted guilt early, agreed to cooperate with authorities, paid nearly a million dollars toward the approximately $3 million in restitution owed to the IRS, and agreed to make monthly payments – in most cases, substantial payments – until the IRS was made whole.

( Tesla CEO Elon Musk has made his voting intentions for this fall’s midterm elections known — he will be backing Republicans up and down the ticket.

This week, Musk wrote on Twitter that he would be supporting GOP candidates after how he’s been treated by liberals recently. He tweeted:

“I support free speech, but not any one candidate. In fact, I gave money to & voted for Hillary & then voted for Biden. However, given unprovoked attacks by leading Democrats against me & a very cold shoulder to Tesla & SpaceX, I intend to vote Republican in November.”

That tweet was sent after he had tweeted earlier in May that he’d vote for the GOP candidates despite the fact that he has “voted overwhelmingly for Democrats, historically.” He continued:

“Like I’m not sure, I might never have voted for a Republican, just to be clear. Now this election I will.”

In explaining part of his decision, he said that Democrats were controlled by labor unions, groups that he said were “just another form of monopoly,” as well as various class-action attorneys.

He further explained his previous voting habits when he tweeted:

“In the past I voted Democrat, because they were (mostly) the kindness party. But they have become the party of division & hate, so I can no longer support them and will vote Republican. Now, watch their dirty tricks campaign against me unfold.”

This doesn’t mean that former President Donald Trump will receive support from Musk, should the Republican decide to run for the White House again in 2024. He also took a shot at President Joe Biden when he tweeted:

“Even though I think a less divisive candidate would be better in 2024, I still think Trump should be restored to Twitter. Biden’s mistake is that he thinks he was elected to transform the country, but actually everyone just wanted less drama.”

It’s not a surprise that Musk has taken this stance, even though he’s voted for Democrats in the past. As his two major companies — Tesla and SpaceX — continue to get bigger, he’s continued to face increasing pressure and scrutiny from the federal government, which is obviously led by liberals.

Musk has always been against big government, which is what the Democratic Party stands for. Now, though, it seems that has boiled over for him.

The CEO of Tesla recently talked to The Wall Street Journal and explained:

“It does not make sense to take the job of capital allocation away from people with a demonstrated great skill in capital allocation and give it to an entity that has demonstrated very poor skill in capital allocation.

“Think of the government essentially as a corporation in the limit. The government is simply the biggest corporation, with a monopoly on violence and where you have no recourse.”

Musk is in the process of purchasing Twitter and making it more of a free-speech platform. He has criticized the social media giant many times in the past for acting too “woke” and silencing voices, mainly from conservatives.