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Iowa trucking owner sentenced in $1.4M payroll tax scheme

Warm failed to forward taxes he withheld from employees’ pay for 7 years

Mark Warm, 57, of Jesup, Iowa, was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison. Photo: Shutterstock

The owner of an Iowa trucking company was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison for his role in a seven-year, $1.4 million payroll tax scheme.

Mark Warm, 57, of Jesup, Iowa, the former owner of Warm Trucking Inc. (WTI), was sentenced Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa after pleading guilty in September 2021 to one count of willful failure to pay employment taxes to the IRS. 

Once released from prison, Warm will serve three years of supervised release and has been ordered to pay more than $1.4 million in restitution to the IRS. No date has been set for when Warm must surrender to the U.S. Marshals Service.

According to court documents, Warm stated that he handled WTI’s finances. Warm admitted that from 2013 through 2019, he was responsible for withholding income taxes and Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) taxes from the pay of his trucking company employees and that part of his job was to forward those withholdings to the IRS.  

In his plea agreement, Warm admitted that he failed to forward to the IRS the money he withheld from his employees’ pay over a seven-year period, despite knowing he was required to do so. 

About WTI, now 16 Trucking 

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration data shows that WTI had 24 drivers, 40 power units and 45 leased trailers in January 2020, but those numbers dropped down to only one driver and one truck nine months later. 

The trucking company also changed its name from WTI to 16 Trucking Inc. in November 2020 but was using the same DOT number and physical address in Jesup. Mark’s wife, Mikki Warm, is listed as the contact for the new company, 16 Trucking, which only has one driver and a single power unit, according to FMCSA’s SAFER website. 

“Mr. Warm’s failure to pay employment taxes for seven years was an attempt to dodge his obligations to his employees and to the United States,” U.S. Attorney Sean Berry said in a statement

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Clarissa Hawes

Clarissa has covered all aspects of the trucking industry for 16 years. She is an award-winning journalist known for her investigative and business reporting. Before joining FreightWaves, she wrote for Land Line Magazine and If you have a news tip or story idea, send her an email to [email protected] or @cage_writer on X, formerly Twitter.