A Franklin County business owner is accused in a federal indictment of failing to pay income and payroll taxes.

Lucinda Franek, 45, Beaufort, appeared in U.S. District Court Wednesday on the federal grand jury indictment that charges her with five felony counts of failure to collect and pay employment taxes and three felony counts of failure to pay income taxes, according to the U.S. attorney’s office in St. Louis.

According to the indictment, Franek was the president of Rick Franek Contracting, Inc. (RFCI), a custom home building business in Beaufort. She and her husband operated RFCI, with Lucinda Franek being responsible for the financial aspects, including payroll duties, and ensuring that the payroll taxes were timely filed and paid to the IRS.

She withheld taxes from employees’ paychecks, including federal income taxes, Medicare and Social Security. The indictment alleges that RFCI failed to pay $123,659 in payroll taxes for five calendar quarters in 2008 and 2009.

Additionally, the indictment states that during years 2006, 2007 and 2008, Lucinda Franek failed to pay income taxes of approximately $53,601.

“Business owners have a responsibility to withhold income taxes for employees and remit those taxes to the Internal Revenue Service,” said Sybil Smith, special agent in charge of IRS criminal investigations in St. Louis. “We are committed to pursuing those who attempt to violate the employment tax laws.”

If convicted, each count carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000. In determining the actual sentences, a judge is required to consider the U.S. sentencing guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.

The case was investigated by IRS Criminal Investigation Unit.

Charges set forth in an indictment are accusations and do not constitute proof of guilt, the U.S. attorney’s office noted.