A Puyallup contractor has been charged with first-degree theft and eight counts of filing a false tax return for allegedly bilking the state out of more than $156,000 in sales-tax revenue.
Kurtis Hirning, owner of Kurtisy Construction, has been summoned to Pierce County Superior Court on March 25 for arraignment.
State investigators said in court documents that Hirning, 42, improperly reported up to one-third of his business as wholesale and failed to report altogether other sales to avoid paying the required sales tax.
Officials with the state Department of Revenue discovered the alleged improprieties during a routine audit of the company’s books recently, the agency said in a news release.
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A message left for Hirning on Friday was returned by his attorney, Robert Chicoine, who said in an email that his client “will reply to the charges at the appropriate time during the legal process.”
In the meantime, he added, “the construction company continues to complete its projects, workers are being employed, customers are being served, and state taxes are being filed and paid.”
There are no complaints against the company on file with the local Better Business Bureau for the past two-year reporting period or with the state Department of Licensing for the most recent six-year reporting period.