AUGUSTA, Maine (Legal Newsline) - Maine Attorney General William Schneider announced on Wednesday that the state will recover $1.3 million in sales, gasoline and special fuel taxes that were diverted by the former president of M.W. Sewall & Co.
Philip Sewall was found guilty on Wednesday in West Bath District Court on three counts of failure to pay the taxes collected and fined $2,000 on each count. The court has ordered Sewall to pay $50,000 within 12 months in addition to the $225,000 he previously paid to Maine Revenue Services.
M.W. Sewall & Co. was a family-owned company based in Bath that operated a heating oil delivery business along with 11 service stations and convenience stores in the midcoast region. Philip Sewall allegedly failed to pay Maine Revenue Services the money collected as sales and fuel taxes from January 2009 through March 2009. Sewell allegedly used the funds to pay his own compensation and other business expenses.
The company filed for bankruptcy protection on March 27, 2009. Its assets are currently in the process of being sold. As part of a global settlement, the state will continue working with the bankruptcy trustee for M.W. Sewall & Co. to collect the remaining $1.06 million from the company's assets sale.
Philip Sewall was removed from company and the companies that have emerged from bankruptcy are under new ownership.
"The agreement reached requires Philip Sewall to personally pay out a large amount of money to cover the unpaid taxes owed by the company and other assets are available to repay the state through the bankruptcy," Schneider said. "The remaining companies of M.W. Sewall are under new leadership and can move forward. This is a good outcome for the citizens of Maine."