Anita Paul and David Paul Sentenced in U.S. District Cour
Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Helena, on February 12, 2009, before Senior U.S. District Judge Jack D. Shanstrom, ANITA PAUL, age 66, and DAVID PAUL, age 67, residents of Ronan, appeared for sentencing.
ANITA and DAVID PAUL were each sentenced to a term of:
- Home Arrest: 6 months
- Special Assessment: $200
- Community Service: 250 hours
- Probation: 5 years
They were sentenced in connection with their guilty pleas to obstruction of Internal Revenue Service laws.
In an Offer of Proof filed by the United States, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
DAVID and ANITA PAUL last filed a federal income tax return for the year 1998. This return was not filed until October 23, 2000. Substitute for returns were filed for the years 1999 through 2001 by the examination division of IRS and a tax assessment was made for the years 1999 - 2001. The case was sent to the collection division of the IRS. In June of 2005, the IRS sent DAVID PAUL a final notice and demand for payment of his tax liability for the years 1998 through 2001.
In July of 2005, the IRS sent the PAULS notice of the IRS's intention to levy DAVID PAUL'S income from Yellowstone Trucking to collect taxes owed for the 1998 tax year. In response, the PAULS mailed a fraudulent document entitled "International Bill of Exchange" in the amount of $16,446.28 to the IRS office in Missoula.
In August of 2005, the IRS sent a notice of levy to Yellowstone Trucking regarding taxes DAVID PAUL owed for the tax years 1998 - 2001. In response, the PAULS responded by sending a fraudulent document entitled "International Bill of Exchange" in the amount of $192,281.97 to the IRS office in Missoula.
During an interview with criminal investigators, DAVID PAUL identified his signature on each of these fraudulent documents. He identified the handwriting on the envelopes as that of his wife, ANITA PAUL, whom he said mailed the checks. DAVID PAUL told investigators he felt there was a "50/50 chance" that these checks would actually work.
In a separate interview, ANITA PAUL identified her husband DAVID PAUL'S signature on each fraudulent document. She further identified the handwriting on each envelope as her own. She told investigators that while she had mailed these bogus documents to the IRS, she never tried to deposit them into her own account because she did not think that would be right.
Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that they will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, they do have the opportunity to earn a sentence reduction for "good behavior." However, this reduction will not exceed 15% of the overall sentence.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Kris A. McLean prosecuted the case for the United States.
The investigation was conducted by the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service.