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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Mississippi Lawyer Sentenced to 18 Months in Prison for Failure to File Tax Returns
Vicksburg Resident Failed to Report More Than $2.5 Million in Income

WASHINGTON – Marshall E. Sanders, an attorney based in Vicksburg, Miss., was sentenced to 18 months in prison for failure to file tax returns by Magistrate Judge James C. Sumner, the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced today. In addition, Judge Sumner ordered Sanders to pay restitution to the IRS of $1,025,453.

In November 2008, Sanders pleaded guilty to failing to file tax returns for years 2001 and 2002. According to the formal charging information and the court’s findings at sentencing, Sanders earned gross income of over $2 million in 2001 and almost $500,000 in 2002. Moreover, Sanders failed to file individual income tax returns since 1995 and owed over $1.4 million in taxes to the IRS.

As part of his plea agreement, Sanders agreed to cooperate with the IRS in making a correct determination of his income tax liabilities for years 1995 through the present and to file complete and accurate tax returns for those years.

"As the tax filing deadline approaches, individuals are reminded that the failure to file tax returns can have serious legal consequences," said Ronald A. Cimino, Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Criminal Matters for the Justice Department’s Tax Division. "The Department of Justice and IRS continue to protect the U.S. Treasury and the interests of honest taxpayers by prosecuting those who willfully violate our tax laws."

"Failing to file an income tax return is not a victimless crime, and all Americans have a duty to pay their fair share," stated Michael J. De Palma, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, New Orleans Field Office. "Honest, hardworking Americans pay the price when others choose not to file their tax returns and pay their tax obligations. Special Agents of IRS Criminal Investigation will continue to work with the Justice Department in an effort to protect the public's confidence in our tax system. If you suspect someone of committing fraud, do the right thing - contact your local IRS office."

In accordance with the plea agreement, the Government moved to dismiss the indictment which was filed against Sanders in May 2008.

Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Cimino commended the IRS special agents who investigated the case, as well as Tax Division trial attorneys Kevin Lombardi and Michelle Petersen who prosecuted the case.

More information about the Justice Department’s Tax Division and its enforcement efforts is available at http://www.usdoj.gov/tax/.

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