Contractor Facing Prison Time After Failing to Pay Taxes on Over $1m in Poker Winnings

  • Guy Smith owes over $821,000 in back taxes from poker and business earnings
  • He earned the poker income from 2012 to 2016 in US and Caribbean events
  • The IRS tried repeatedly to get him to pay up
  • Smith pleaded guilty to tax evasion and faces sentencing in March 2021
poker cards on cash
A Connecticut business owner has pleaded guilty to tax evasion stemming from unpaid taxes on $1m in poker winnings. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

From poker to prison

A business owner from Milford, Connecticut, faces prison time after failing to pay taxes on more than $1m in poker winnings. Guy Smith, owner of Centerline Interiors, a company that “specializes in commercial interior construction,” has enjoyed success playing poker in his spare time. After winning, Smith failed to declare the income with the IRS and now owes six figures in back taxes.

IRS warned him repeatedly

The federal government is prosecuting Smith after the IRS warned him repeatedly to pay up. He faces up to five years in prison.

Poker winnings accrued over five years

From 2012 to 2016, Smith took part in poker tournaments, amassing more than $1m in prize money. He played in his home state of Connecticut, traveled to out-of-state events like the World Series of Poker, and ventured to the Bahamas for the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure.

Over the years, Smith failed to report his poker winnings along with $482,000 from his contracting business. In total, Smith owes the IRS around $821,415.

Smith reportedly used money from his personal and business accounts to fund his poker gameplay. He concealed the winnings from his tax preparer, providing only a summary of Centerline’s income and expenses. He did not provide any bank statements, which would have revealed the money earned from poker tournaments.

Court appearance

Smith appeared in District Court last week, where he pleaded guilty to the federal tax charges and waived his right to be indicted. The court released him on a $50,000 bond. Now, Smith must inform the authorities if he plans to travel out of state.

The court has scheduled sentencing for March 4, 2021, at which time Smith will appear before United States District Judge Michael P. Shea. Smith agreed to cooperate with the IRS and pay the taxes he owes plus penalties and interest.

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