Cinema whistleblower turns boss into IRS
"I was just tired of it, tired of trying to hide it for them. I felt like it might all come back on me. I just wanted to be done with it." A man who used to be the manager at one of Elaine Dawson's five Northern Michigan movie theaters says he collected paperwork for the IRS to prove she was not being truthful about the finances.
He says he gave the feds eight years worth of documents that show she only reported a portion of her income from ticket sales, popcorn, soda, and gift cards.
Records filed Tuesday in Grand Rapids Federal Court show Dawson plans to plead guilty to tax evasion.
The court documents say she tried to evade part of the taxes she owed by regularly underreporting the number of patrons who bought tickets to view movies at her cinemas and took the cash from the unreported.
The theaters are the Bellaire Theater in Bellaire, Petoskey Cinema in Petoskey, Gaylord Cinema in Gaylord, Courtyard Cinemas in Mackinaw City, and Kingston Cinema in Cheboygan.
The unpaid taxes totalled nearly $1 million.
"They paid everything in cash: houses, boats, cars, every year. They never had any regard for workers or for the company." says the whistleblower.
It's unclear what the charges mean for the future of the cinemas.