WASHINGTON – A federal grand jury in Portland, Ore., returned a superseding indictment against Micaela Renee Dutson and her husband, Tony Dutson, the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced today.
The Dutsons were originally indicted May 8, 2008, on charges that they conspired to defraud the United States of more than $8 million and failed to file income taxes. Both pleaded not guilty to all charges on June 5, 2008.
The superseding indictment adds charges that the Dutsons attempted to obstruct the IRS in its attempt to enforce the tax laws by filing lawsuits, baseless liens and multiple Forms 1099-OID against IRS employees. The indictment alleges that the baseless liens claimed a debt owed by the IRS employees to the defendants totalling $1,003,680,000,000. According to the superseding indictment, the Forms 1099-OID falsely claimed payment of millions of dollars to IRS employees who were investigating the defendants.
The superseding indictment also includes charges that the Dutsons presented five fictitious financial obligations totalling approximately $9,903,870 for use by their clients in purported payment of IRS debts. It further includes a charge that the Dutsons willfully aided and assisted the filing of a false 2002 federal tax return by clients.
"This indictment shows that the government will not tolerate taxpayers’ use of bogus financial instruments to pay tax debts and IRS forms as a means to harass IRS employees," said Tax Division Assistant Attorney General Nathan J. Hochman. "Under the National Tax Defier Initiative launched in April 2008, the Tax Division has committed to vigorously investigate and prosecute tax defiers and all others who use baseless arguments and fictitious documents to evade their tax liabilities."
"Obstruction is a crime that does not pay in Oregon - we will aggressively investigate and prosecute attempts by those who obstruct revenue agents and officers from doing their jobs," said U.S. Attorney Karin J. Immergut, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.
"The IRS works quickly to identify and stop these nuisance schemes aimed at harassing honest taxpayers and the government," said IRS Criminal Investigation Chief Eileen Mayer. "We take seriously these types of actions that attempt to impede our ability to administer efficient tax administration. Today's indictment signals our determination to hold accountable those who engage in this type of frivolous activity."
Conspiracy carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison. Failure to file tax returns carries a maximum penalty of up to one year in prison for each offense. Obstructing the internal revenue laws carries a maximum penalty of up to three years for each offense. Using fictitious financial instruments carries a maximum penalty of up to 25 years for each count. Aiding and assisting the filing of false tax returns carries a maximum penalty of up to three years.
A criminal indictment is only an allegation and not evidence of guilt. Each of these defendants is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. The charges stem from an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Dwight C. Holton.