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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 12, 2013

Palmetto Man Convicted Of Tax Crimes

TAMPA, FL - Acting U.S. Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that a federal jury today found Gregory Albert Darst (71, Palmetto) guilty of one count of attempted interference with the Internal Revenue laws and four counts of willfully failing to file income tax returns. Darst, who was indicted on April 11, 2013, faces a maximum penalty of seven years in federal prison.

According to evidence presented at trial, Darst has not filed a federal income tax return since 1989. During the years charged in the indictment, Darst earned income from his operation of a mobile home park located in Largo, Florida. The income received exceeded the minimum amount requiring him to file annual tax returns. Evidence also showed that Darst engaged in a lengthy and coordinated effort to obstruct and impede the administration of the tax laws. He sent fraudulent documents to the IRS purporting to pay off his tax debt; attempted to retaliate against several IRS employees by making false accusations of misconduct; and he sent threatening correspondence to a private citizen who purchased property from Darst, which was encumbered by valid IRS levies and liens.

"Convictions, like the one returned against Mr. Darst today, send a loud and clear message that regardless of their opinions, people who willfully defy the tax laws will be fully investigated, prosecuted and subjected to the full punishment of the law," said Special Agent-in Charge James D. Robnett of the IRS-Criminal Investigation (Tampa Field Office). "Those Americans who file accurate, honest and timely returns can be assured that the government will hold accountable those who don't."

This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Mueller.

Updated January 26, 2015