A Powell woman who prosecutors say enjoyed a luxurious lifestyle at the expense of business clients and federal taxpayers faces eight years in federal prison and a $15.7 million restitution bill.
Andrea Rudd, 38, will remain free while federal prison authorities determine where she should spend her prison time. She'd asked for probation along with home confinement, records show.
Chief U.S. District Judge Tom Varlan imposed sentence Thursday in U.S. District Court in Knoxville.
Rudd pleaded guilty in April to tax evasion and mail and wire fraud.
Rudd operated a Powell-based firm called HR Comp LLC, which billed itself as helping businesses cover their payroll chores with the government and workers compensation insurance.
The government alleged, however, that Rudd from 2011-15 diverted hundreds of thousands of dollars that was supposed to cover client obligations so that she could buy luxury cars and pay boat and jet ski expenses and spar and pool costs.
Meanwhile, HR Comp failed to cover its obligations, according to the government.
FBI and Internal Revenue Service agents raided HR Comp in May 2014.
In the tax year 2011, HR Comp reported client wages of more than $42 million and total taxes due of more than $8.3 million. But it also reported to the Internal Revenue Service that it had deposited only $4.6 million to cover the taxes due on behalf of its clients.
Rudd and a former husband also admitted they'd used some money from the business to make a down payment on a house, a federal sentencing memo states. A former business partner also told government investigators that Rudd had diverted company funds for her own use.
HR Comp also charged some clients for workers compensation insurance that they actually weren't getting, exposing them to liabilities, records state.
Federal authorities say Rudd even tried to scam them with a claim of a rare, life-threatening illness.
In the fall of 2016, they negotiated a guily plea agreement with Rudd, according to the government's sentencing memo. Days later, however, Rudd's lawyer informed prosecutors that she'd come down with a central nervous system disorder.
When the government pressed further, they learned that in fact she had no such illness. Her claims were totally fabricated, according to records.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Knoxville, Rudd must pay $10.3 million of the $15.7 million in restitution to the IRS.