Former Wisconsin tourism secretary and state senator plead guilty to failing to pay employment taxes

MADISON — A former central Wisconsin state legislator and former candidate for lieutenant governor pleaded guilty Monday to failing to pay nearly $200,000 in employment taxes.

Kevin Shibilski, 60, of Merrill, appeared before Federal District Court Judge William Conley and pleaded guilty to failing to report and honestly pay the Internal Revenue Service federal income taxes withheld and FICA taxes owed on behalf of its employees to two of its businesses – Pure Extractions and Wisconsin Logistics Solutions.

Shibilski was CEO of 5R Processors, a Ladysmith-based company that recycles electronic waste from businesses, institutions and manufacturers who participate in a manufacturer take-back program. He formed the other two companies, Wisconsin Logistics Solutions and Pure Extractions, to take over the trucking, logistics and recycling operations of 5R Processors.

Unpaid taxes totaled $197,458, records show.

A native of Stevens Point, Shibilski represented the 24th Senate District from 1995 to 2002, when he unsuccessfully ran in the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor. He later served as Secretary of State for Tourism under Governor Jim Doyle.

In exchange for Shibilski’s guilty plea, the U.S. Attorney’s Office agreed to dismiss all other charges a grand jury indicted Shibilski on in September 2020, including eight counts of wire fraud and waste storage and disposal. dangerous without a permit, according to court documents. Shibilski was initially charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States by failing to pay more than $850,000 in labor and income taxes.

according to online court documents. Conley dismissed the lawsuit in February 2021.

According to the indictment, Shibilski illegally stored and disposed of broken and crushed glass from cathode ray tubes that was dangerous because the tubes contained lead. It took more than $5.76 million from its customers, but failed to recycle more than 8.3 million pounds of their crushed glass. Instead, the company stored the lead-containing tubes in 5R Processors’ warehouses in Wisconsin and Tennessee, according to court documents.

Conley ordered a pre-sentence hearing in the criminal case and scheduled Shibilski’s sentencing for September 13. Shibilski faces a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison, three years of probation and a fine of $250,000.

Contact Karen Madden at 715-345-2245 or Follow her on Twitter at @KMadden715, Instagram at @kmadden715 or Facebook at

This article originally appeared on Wausau Daily Herald: Former State Senator Shibilski pleads guilty to failing to pay taxes

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