Lafayette Businessman Sentenced For Tax Evasion
LAFAYETTE, La. – The day after the annual tax filing deadline United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced that Gary M. Scott, 61, of Lafayette, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Elizabeth E. Foote on one count of tax evasion to two years in prison, three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $362,961.65 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service(IRS) in unpaid taxes.
According to the Stipulated Factual Basis in the plea agreement, Scott earned more than $2.4 million in gross receipts between 2004 and 2009, and failed to file timely tax returns for those years. In an attempt to avoid paying his tax liability and evade assessment of future income taxes, Scott intentionally hid assets and went to great lengths to remove those assets out of his name. He cashed checks totaling approximately $722,000 at local check cashing stores. Scott received wire transfers from customers into a bank account established under a third party’s name. The third party stated that Scott told him he needed a third party to open a bank account because Scott owed money to the IRS.
Each year, U.S. Attorneys’ Offices around the country work with the IRS to enforce the nation’s tax laws.
“Our office will continue to prosecute those who intentionally violate tax laws. Internal Revenue Service agents and federal prosecutors are working together to protect the public and hold violators accountable,” said U.S. Attorney Finley.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office has prosecuted cases for Failure to Report Income, “Structuring” to Hide Income, Fraudulent Tax Preparers, and Stolen Identity Refund Fraud.
“The defendant attempted to hide income from the IRS in order to avoid paying taxes,” Finley said. “His actions were a willful violation of tax laws. This should serve as a reminder to those who refuse to play by the rules that they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
“The term voluntary compliance means that each of us is responsible for filing a tax return when required and for paying the correct amount of tax,” according to IRS Criminal Investigation’s Acting Special Agent in Charge Damon Rowe. “That responsibility should not be taken lightly. Mr. Gary Scott chose to ignore his duty to file and pay taxes and is now a convicted felon with a prison term to serve.”
The IRS office of criminal investigations in New Orleans conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Howard Parker prosecuted the case.