News and Press Releases

News and Press Releases

Former hockey association treasurer pleads guilty to tax evasion

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 18, 2012


MINNEAPOLIS—Yesterday in federal court, a former Minnesota Amateur Hockey Association treasurer pleaded guilty to tax evasion. Steven Brier specifically pleaded guilty to one count of tax evasion for tax year 2010. Brier, who was charged via an Information filed on December 4, 2012, entered his plea before United States District Judge Richard H. Kyle.

In his plea agreement, Brier admitted that from April 2005 through September 2011, he stole at least $384,000 from District 2 of the Minnesota Amateur Hockey Association. As the volunteer, unpaid treasurer for District 2 during that time, Brier had access to its bank accounts. Because only one signature was required on the checks issued from those accounts, Brier admittedly wrote numerous checks to himself without detection.

Brier was only supposed to withdraw money from Association accounts for reimbursable expenses he had paid out of pocket. To make the checks he drew for himself look like legitimate reimbursements, he noted on the memo lines, among other things, “scheduling” and “playoff expenses.”

Over the years, Brier tried to repay the money he had taken. He often gambled at casinos, attempting to garner winnings he could turn over to the Association. While he paid back more than $81,000, he still owes $302,000 to District 2.  

For tax year 2010, Brier evaded payment of federal personal income taxes by failing to inform his tax preparer of the money he had stolen. He also failed to report such money for tax years 2007 through 2009. Brier agrees that the tax loss resulting from his criminal behavior was at least $68,000 for tax years 2007 through 2010. 

For his offenses, Brier faces a potential maximum penalty of five years in federal prison, as well as possible fines and orders of forfeiture. Judge Kyle will determine his specific sentence at a future hearing, not yet scheduled.

This case is the result of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin S. Ueland.

Per U.S. Department of Justice policy, the U.S. Attorney’s Office is not allowed to provide the age and city of residence for defendants charged in criminal tax cases.

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