pueblo man found guilty of tax evasion, bank fraud and interfering with IRS laws
DENVER – Michael Destry Williams, age 49, of Pueblo, Colorado, was found guilty by a jury late yesterday for tax evasion, structuring, bank fraud, and interfering with IRS laws, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division (IRS CI) and Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) announced. The guilty verdict was the result of a 6 day trial before U.S. District Court Judge Christine M. Arguello. Williams remained in the custody of the United States Marshals and is scheduled to be sentenced on January 27, 2014 at 3:30 p.m.
Williams was indicted by federal grand jury in Denver on March 22, 2012, followed by a superseding indictment on July 26, 2012.
According to the indictment, superseding indictment and evidence presented at trial, Williams was self-employed as a general contractor focusing primarily on residential construction projects, including roofing, remodeling and the repair and restoration of residential structures sustaining fire and water related damage. He was also self-employed as a real estate investor involved in the purchase, renovation and resale (commonly known, as “fixing and flipping”) of residential properties. Williams operated under the name of Greenview Construction, Inc., a Colorado corporation.
From April 2005 and continuing through January 2008, Williams willfully attempted to evade a substantial amount of income tax and self-employment tax due and owing by him to the United States for calendar years 2005, 2006 and 2007. He failed to file income tax returns and failed to pay to the IRS income tax and self-employment tax. To conceal his income, Williams established and used trusts as part of his tax evasion scheme and structured over $90,000 in deposited funds from July 2008 through September 2008.
In November of 2009, Williams attempted to defraud a Colorado financial institution by depositing worthless fabricated United States Treasury checks for his own benefit. There were two false treasury checks totaling $55,000 payable to Greenview Construction. In February of 2010, there was a third fabricated United States Treasury check in the amount of $250,000 that Williams tendered to the El Paso County Court to settle a criminal misdemeanor case for which he had been sentenced to a jail term.
From October 2008 through December 2010, Williams mailed numerous frivolous correspondences to the Secretary of the Treasury as well as various IRS offices in an attempt to obstruct and impede the administration of the internal revenue laws. The obstructive efforts included attempts by Williams to target State of Colorado judicial officers who had presided over three separate state cases in which Williams was named as a defendant. In particular, Williams sent IRS criminal referrals accusing one of these judicial officers and the Clerk of the El Paso County District Court with committing criminal tax and related offenses.
“This defendant attempted to hide his income from the IRS, a ploy that doesn’t work,” said U.S. Attorney John Walsh. “The agents who investigated this case and the trial team who prosecuted the defendant deserve recognition for their hard work and successful outcome.”
“It’s only a matter of time -- when you willfully conceal income and interfere with IRS laws to this degree -- you will be investigated and brought to justice,” said Stephen Boyd, Special Agent in Charge for IRS Criminal Investigation, Denver Field Office.
“Without the outstanding teamwork demonstrated by the IRS Criminal Investigation, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Colorado and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, this conviction would not have been possible,” said P. Cordale Lamb, Special Agent in Charge in TIGTA’s Denver Office. “The conviction sends a strong message: those individuals who attempt to interfere with or impede the administration of Internal Revenue laws will be investigated and will be held accountable in a court of law.”
Williams was charged and found guilty of three counts of tax evasion, one count of structuring, two counts of bank fraud, three counts of fictitious obligations and one count of interfering with the administration of internal revenue laws. Tax evasion and structuring carries a penalty of not more than 5 years in federal prison, and a fine of up to $250,000 per count. Bank fraud carries a penalty of not more than 30 years in federal prison, and a fine of up to $1,000,000 per count. Fictitious obligations carries a penalty of not more than 25 years in federal prison, and a fine of up to $1,000,000 per count. Interfering with the administration of internal revenue laws carries a penalty of not more than 3 years in federal prison, and a fine of up to $250,000 per count.
This case was investigated by agents with IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS CI) and U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenneth Harmon Department of Justice Tax Division Trial Attorney Kevin Sweeney.