ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A Taos business owner has pled guilty to withholding hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes from her employees. Diane Mariani, 66, pleaded guilty on May 18 in federal court to willful failure to collect or pay over tax.

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Court records say until 2015, Mariani was co-owner, operator, and treasurer of Taos RPM LLC, and beginning that year, she was the co-owner, operator, and treasurer of Mountain Resort Management, Inc. in Taos. Mountain Resort did business as Snakedance Condominiums, Bumps Market, and Hondo Restaurant.

The documents say Mariani was responsible for paying employees of Snakedance Condominiums and Mountain Resort Management and acknowledged in her plea that she knew she had a duty to withhold federal income taxes, Social Security taxes, and Medicare taxes – collectively referred to as “trust fund taxes” – from employee paychecks. Mariani was also aware she had a duty to report those taxes on a quarterly basis and to deposit those taxes on a regular basis.

Between the first quarter of 2015 and the fourth quarter of 2018, Mariani withheld at least $203,137 in trust fund taxes from the employees. Mariani admitted to willfully failing to pay those taxes. She faces up to five years in prison.