Marydel residents and owners of Maryland tree service plead guilty to tax charges


A Marydel husband and wife, who owned a tree service business in Maryland,  pleaded guilty this week in Delaware  U.S. District Court to income and employment tax charges.

According to court documents, Donald Gilliss, 48, and Amy Gilliss, 41, of Marydel in Kent County, DE,  owned and operated Arundel Tree Service, a business offering tree care and removal services in Anne Arundel County and the surrounding area in Maryland.

For at least the past five years, the Gillisses operated Arundel as an off-the-books cash business, paying themselves and Arundel employees in cash, court documents indicated.

 Prosecutors said the  Gillisses cashed Arundel customer checks at a check-cashing service and deposited the proceeds into their personal bank account. They also operated an off-the-books cash payroll for Arundel employees. Despite making cash deposits totaling $2 million into their bank account, the Gillisses received an income tax refund from the IRS every year.

The Gillisses pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States and face a maximum penalty of five years in prison when sentenced on October 11, 2022. However, sentences are typically less than the maximum.

“The steps taken by the Gillisses to defraud the IRS, to include paying their employees under the table, is shameful,” said IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Yury Kruty. “Today, they have taken responsibility for their actions. Those considering engaging in similar criminal behavior can count on IRS Special Agents tracking them down and holding them accountable.”