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U.S. Department of Justice

United States Attorney
Northern District of California

11th Floor, Federal Building
450 Golden Gate Avenue, Box 36055
San Francisco, California 94102

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tel: (415) 436-7200
Fax: (415) 436-7234

May 2, 2002

The United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California announced that James J. Kettman, aka Jim J. Kettman, pled guilty pursuant to a Plea Agreement on April 24, 2002, to one count of attempted income tax evasion, in violation of 26 U.S.C. 7201.

According to the Information filed April 2, 2002, Mr. Kettman, 52, a resident of Sausalito, submitted a false and fraudulent tax return for taxable year 1993, on behalf of himself and his spouse, Ona B. Schissel, which reported that their joint taxable income for calendar year 1993 was $22,775.00 and that the tax due and owing for that year was $9,495.00, when Mr. Kettman knew that their joint taxable income was actually $112,120.28, and the amount of taxes due and owing was actually $38,015.22. 

In pleading guilty, Mr. Kettman admitted that during 1993 and 1994, he and his spouse were engaged in the business of vocational counseling and rehabilitation for disabled clients through their sole proprietorship Work Return.  Despite understanding the bookkeeping practices necessary to file accurate tax returns, Mr. Kettman knowingly provided inaccurate records to their tax return preparer that failed to reflect $136,226.97 of Schedule C gross receipts received through the operation of the business.  In doing so, Mr. Kettman evaded taxes totaling $42,284.53.  Their 1993 and 1994 tax returns were selected for civil audit by the IRS.  During the civil examination, in an effort to support the false tax returns, Mr. Kettman knowingly provided to the IRS agent altered documents and false statements which purported to establish that certain bank deposits were non-taxable, when in fact such items were taxable and constituted income required to be reported on the Schedules C attached to their tax returns. 

Mr. Kettman is scheduled to be sentenced on August 14, 2002.  The maximum statutory penalty for a violation of 26 U.S.C. 7201 is 5 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.  However, any sentence following conviction would be dictated by the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of factors, and would be imposed in the discretion of the Court. 

The prosecution was the result of an investigation by special agents the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service.  Emily J. Kingston was the Assistant U.S. Attorney who prosecuted the case, with the assistance of Kathy Tat and Stefania Chin.

A copy of this press release may also be found on the U.S. Attorney's Office website at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/can

All press inquiries to the U.S. Attorney's Office should be directed to Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew J. Jacobs at (415)436-7181.

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