DOJ SealUnited States Attorney's Office District of Idaho
 


NEWS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ON
DECEMBER 14, 2005

CONTACT: JEAN McNEIL
                 Public Information Officer
                 (208) 334-1211


BURLEY COUPLE CHARGED IN TAX CASE

The United States Department of Justice announced that a federal grand jury in Boise, Idaho, yesterday handed up an indictment charging Burley, Idaho, residents John Thurman Horejs and his wife Elaine Sheryl Horejs with obstructing or impeding the due administration of the internal revenue laws, in violation of Title 26 United States Code section 7212(a), and failing to file federal income tax returns, in violation of Title 26 United States Code section 7203. John Horejs, date of birth 3/19/49, of Burley, Idaho, is an artist who sells his paintings in galleries across the United States. The Horejses are also part-time residents of Phoenix, Arizona.

According to Count One of the indictment, John and Elaine Horejs obstructed or impeded the due administration of the internal revenue laws from October 1996 through January 2004 by filing false trust and individual income tax returns. The Horejses also falsely claimed they were -morenot U.S. citizens, and thus challenged the authority and jurisdiction of the IRS and the United States to collect income tax from them. The indictment also alleges that the Horejses falsely claimed that paintings the Horejses owned, which the IRS seized to satisfy a federal tax lien against the Horejses, were in fact owned by a nominee trust.

In Counts Two through Six of the indictment, John and Elaine Horejs are each charged with five counts of failure to file an individual income tax return for tax years 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002.

Obstructing or impeding the due administration of the internal revenue laws is a felony for which the statutory maximum penalty is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Failure to file an income tax return is a misdemeanor for which the statutory maximum penalty is one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.

This case was investigated by Special Agents with the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, and prosecuted by Department of Justice, Tax Division, Trial Attorneys Lea A. Carlisle and Nicholas D. Dickinson.

The charges contained in an indictment are only allegations. Individuals charged in an indictment are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty in a court of law.

 

Last Update: 12/15/05 (JMH)