FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2009
TDD (202) 514-1888
LAS VEGAS MINISTER AND CONSPIRATOR SENTENCED IN TAX EVASION SCHEME
WASHINGTON – Michael Haynes, a practicing minister, and David Jett, both of Las Vegas, were sentenced to 37 months in prison and five years probation, respectively, by Chief U.S. District Judge Robert L. Hunt in Las Vegas, the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced today. Haynes and Jett were also ordered to pay restitution of $834,000 and $150,000, respectively, to the U.S. Treasury.
In September 2008, a jury convicted Haynes for conspiring to evade taxes through a scheme involving the fraudulent sale of One Voice Technologies Inc. stock. Jett pleaded guilty to conspiracy in March 2008.
According to the indictment and evidence presented at trial, Haynes and Jett orchestrated the fraudulent sale of $7 million in One Voice stock. Haynes and Jett used at least ten stock certificates to generate the $7 million in gross proceeds; all of these stock certificates were in different nominee names. As part of the scheme, new stock certificates in the name of One Voice were issued to at least five nominees, two of whom testified at trial. With the assistance of the transfer agent for One Voice, Haynes had the nominees sign documents that stated they had lost their original stock certificates and assigned their rights to the stock.
According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Haynes directed the $7 million in stock proceeds to be deposited in a nominee bank account at the Bank of Nova Scotia. At Haynes instruction, the proceeds were transferred via checks and wire transfers to U.S. bank accounts in his and Jetts control. Jett and Haynes then used funds obtained from the sale of One Voice stock for their personal benefit. Haynes failed to report the proceeds of the stock sale on his personal income taxes.
Acting Assistant Attorney General John A. DiCicco commended the IRS special agents who investigated the case, as well as Tax Division trial attorneys Lori H. Hendrickson and Timothy J. Stockwell who prosecuted the case.