WASHINGTON - A federal jury in Washington, D.C., has convicted Michael C. Irving, a homicide detective and 18-year veteran of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), of two counts of felony tax evasion, the Justice Department, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the District of Columbia Office of Tax and Revenue (OTR) announced today. The jury was unable to reach a verdict on four counts of tax evasion, resulting in the court declaring a mistrial on those counts. The jury acquitted Irving of three counts of filing false claims.
According to the evidence introduced at trial, beginning in 2002, as part of a tax defier scheme or “program,” Irving fraudulently arranged for the MPD to stop withholding taxes from his paychecks. From 2002 through 2005, Irving caused false W-4 withholding forms to be filed with the MPD which stated that he was “exempt” from withholding because he supposedly owed no taxes for the prior or current years.
As part of the scheme, Irving then filed a 2002 tax return in which he claimed he made zero wages. As the evidence at trial showed, Irving earned $155,211 in wages for 2002. For calendar years 2003 to 2005, Irving failed to file any tax returns with the IRS and the OTR, and paid very little to no federal or D.C. income taxes for those years, despite having earned MPD wages of $152,153 in 2003, $136,962 in 2004, and $181,913 in 2005. Instead of paying the more than $130,000 he owed in federal and D.C. taxes for these years, Irving spent the money on, among other things, custom-tailored suits, jewelry for his wife, Redskins tickets, dining out, renovations on his $805,000 home, apartment building investments, and vitamins and nutritional supplements.
“No one is above the law,” said Tax Division Assistant Attorney General Nathan J. Hochman. “From the president of a Fortune 500 company to a waiter at a local restaurant to a veteran homicide detective, everyone has to pay their fair share of income taxes. Through the National Tax Defier Initiative (TAXDEF Initiative), law-abiding taxpayers can rest assured that the United States will enforce the tax laws fully and fairly against all citizens.”
U.S. District Court Judge Paul L. Friedman has set a status hearing for July 29, 2008. Irving faces a maximum sentence for both counts of up to 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the federal charge as well as having to pay back all his taxes plus penalties and interest.
“It’s deeply disappointing when anyone asked to enforce the law doesn’t personally follow it. Filing accurate tax returns is a legal requirement. Regardless of where you work or what you do, there is a heavy price to pay for ignoring your tax responsibilities,” said Eileen Mayer, Chief, IRS Criminal Investigation.
“This investigation exemplifies how local and federal authorities can work together to combat tax fraud,” said Deputy Chief Financial Officer for the Office of Tax and Revenue Stephen Cordi.
Assistant Attorney General Hochman thanked the IRS Criminal Investigations Special Agents and the D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue Criminal Investigation Division Special Agents who investigated the case. The case was prosecuted by trial attorneys Karen E. Kelly and Michael P. Ben’Ary of the Tax Division.
More information about the Justice Department’s Tax Division and its National Tax Defier Initiative (TAXDEF Initiative) efforts against tax defiers can be found at http://www.usdoj.gov/tax/taxpress2007.htm.