News and Press Releases

Marion Attorney Sentenced to Prison for Failure to File Federal Income Taxes

November 16, 2012

Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today that on November 16, 2012, William E. Wells, 62, an attorney (now unlicensed) from Marion, Illinois, was sentenced to serve two years in prison for failing to file and pay his personal Federal Income Taxes. Wells must also serve a year of supervised release after his term of imprisonment and pay a $50 Special Assessment. The Court also ordered Wells to cooperate with the IRS in preparing and paying all back taxes.

“Through my office, I will continue to pursue those who fail to pay their fair share of taxes owed to the United States, no matter what that person’s station or profession may be.” noted United States Attorney Wigginton. “Those who fail to pay their lawful taxes steal from all of us.”

In addition to being ordered to repay back taxes, before his sentencing, Wells paid over $98,919.41 to the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Board (ARDC). This payment was made to partially reimburse the ARDC Client Protection Fund, which had previously paid out $158,643 to individuals who had filed claims with the ARDC regarding Wells’ mishandling of their cases. A representative of the ARDC testified at Wells’ sentencing.

During his plea of guilty on March 6, 2012, Wells admitted that he was required by law to file Federal Income Tax Returns for tax years 2005 and 2006, and that he had willfully failed to file those returns. Wells also agreed that the loss to the Internal Revenue Service for purposes of his criminal sentencing was in excess of $400,000.

“We deeply appreciate the actions taken by United States Attorney Steve Wigginton and the members of the Bankruptcy Fraud Working Group for the Southern District of Illinois to prosecute those who engage in fraudulent conduct,” stated Nancy J. Gargula, U.S. Trustee for Indiana and Central and Southern Illinois (Region 10). Members of the Southern Illinois Bankruptcy Fraud Working Group include representatives of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Illinois; Office of the U.S. Trustee for Region 10; Federal Bureau of Investigation; Internal Revenue Service; United States Postal Inspection Service; Social Security Administration; and Department of Health and Human Services, among others. The United States Trustee Program is the component of the Justice Department that protects the integrity of the bankruptcy system by overseeing case administration and litigating to enforce the bankruptcy laws. Region 10 is headquartered in Indianapolis, with additional offices in South Bend, Indiana and Peoria, Illinois.”

The investigation was conducted by the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ranley Killian.

In order to report tax fraud, contact the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service at 618-622-2160.










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