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Urbana Man Sentenced to Three Years in Prison for Tax Evasion and Obstruction of Internal Revenue Laws

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 4, 2011

Urbana, Ill. – An Urbana, Illinois man, Kurt E. Scheuneman, has been sentenced to serve three years federal prison. Yesterday, Chief U.S. District Judge Michael P. McCuskey ordered that Scheuneman, a self-employed contractor, serve 36 months in federal prison for tax evasion. According to court documents, Scheuneman, 59, of the 2700 block of Clifton Drive, was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $84,382 to the IRS in unpaid taxes. Scheuneman was ordered to report on April 20, 2011, to the Federal Bureau of Prisons to begin serving his prison sentence.

On Nov. 18, 2010, a jury convicted Scheuneman of three counts of tax evasion and one count of obstruction of Internal Revenue laws. According to court documents, in or around June 1999, Scheuneman purchased a trust system through Innovative Financial Consultants (IFC), based in Tempe, Arizona. The trust scheme, known as “The Global Special,” consisted of a limited liability corporation and two trust entities that were purported to be foreign trusts.

At trial, the government presented evidence that in January 2004, the Internal Revenue Service informed Scheuneman that he may have been involved with an abusive tax avoidance scheme involving IFC. Further, IFC promoter John F. Poseley pleaded guilty in December 2003 in the District of Arizona to conspiracy to defraud the United States in connection with the promotion of IFC trust packages. The letter advised Scheuneman that he should complete an accurate 2003 tax return and that the IRS would be reviewing the return to verify that proper income and expenses were reflected.

The government evidence presented at trial showed that despite express warning from the IRS, Scheuneman failed to file his 2003 form as well as for subsequent tax years 2004 and 2005. During subsequent IRS audits, Scheuneman refused to cooperate. The government presented further evidence that for tax years 2000 through 2005, Scheuneman failed to file any personal tax returns and failed to report more than $200,000 in personal income, thereby evading payment of taxes in the amount of $84,382.

The charges were investigated by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division and the Illinois Department of Revenue. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy A. Bass.

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