WASHINGTON – A jury convicted William A. Herder of Richland County, Ohio, yesterday on federal tax charges, the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced. Trial began on May 11, 2012, before U.S. District Judge Sara Lioi, sitting in Akron, Ohio. Herder was charged with corruptly endeavoring to impair and impede the due administration of the Internal Revenue laws, tax evasion and five counts of failure to file tax returns. He was convicted of all counts.
According to the evidence at trial, Herder sold insurance for Aflac Inc, a nationwide supplemental insurance provider, from an office in Mansfield, Ohio. Herder had not filed a timely or valid tax return in more than a decade. For the 2000 tax year, Herder filed a tax return on which he falsely claimed that he had not earned any income. Subsequently, Herder failed to file any tax returns for the 2001-2009 tax years, despite earning income and receiving numerous warnings and notices from the IRS. The evidence at trial showed that, to prevent the IRS from collecting his unpaid taxes, Herder attempted to conceal his assets and income. In 2003, Herder transferred title to his house to a bogus foundation he established in Utah called the “Mentor Foundation.” Herder also cashed out an Individual Retirement Account and a life insurance policy, converted large amounts of cash to silver coins, and paid expenses with cash and money orders, all in an effort to prevent the IRS from collecting his unpaid taxes.
In addition to failing to file valid tax returns and hiding his assets from the IRS, trial evidence showed Herder submitted numerous obstructive letters and documents to the IRS and the insurance companies he represented in an effort to prevent the IRS from assessing and collecting his taxes. In these letters, Herder falsely claimed, among other things, that the tax laws were not applicable to him. The evidence at trial showed that Herder obtained some of these materials from Joseph Flickinger, who was previously convicted and sentenced for a tax fraud conspiracy and later enjoined from preparing tax returns for others.
Following the jury verdict, Herder was taken into custody. Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 23, 2012.
Assistant Attorney General Kathryn Keneally of the Justice Department’s Tax Division thanked special agents of IRS - Criminal Investigation, who provided valuable assistance in conducting the investigation, Tax Division Trial Attorneys Melissa S. Siskind and Jeffrey McLellan, who prosecuted the case, and Tax Division Trial Attorney Sean R. Delaney, currently on detail to a U.S. Attorney’s office, who assisted with the investigation.
Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found at www.justice.gov/tax.