Carson City Bond & Loan Broker Pleads Guilty to Filing False Tax Returns
Reno, Nev. - United States Attorney for the District of Nevada, Daniel G. Bogden, and Byram Tichenor, Special Agent-in-Charge of Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) for Nevada, announced that NEWTON CLIFFORD BENNETT, age 60, a resident of Carson City, Nevada, pleaded guilty on October 8, 2002, in U.S. District Court in Reno before Chief U.S. District Court Judge Howard D. McKibben to the federal crime of Making and Subscribing a False Income Tax Return, a violation of Title 26, United States Code, Section 7206(1). BENNETT was indicted by a federal Grand Jury in Reno on April 10, 2002.
According to the court records, from 1995 to 1997, NEWTON CLIFFORD BENNETT owned and operated West Coast Bonding & Trust, in Carson City, Nevada. BENNETT held himself out to be a performance bond broker and loan broker. BENNETT sold performance and surety bonds throughout the United States and received commissions from these sales. BENNETT also received finder's fees from various individuals for finding loans for them. The performance bonds were not backed by any funds, and the State of Nevada, Division of Insurance, Department of Business and Industry, subsequently determined that the performance bonds were fraudulent.
BENNETT failed to report any of the income he earned from the commissions or finder's fees on his federal income tax returns for the years 1995 to 1997. A criminal investigation conducted by IRS-CI in Reno, and an examination of BENNETT's business and bank records, revealed that BENNETT failed to report the following amounts on his income tax returns for 1995-1997: 1995 - $165,371.60;
1996 - $196,687.81; 1997 - $13,871.03. The IRS calculated additional federal taxes due and owing from BENNETT as follows: 1995 - $21,052; 1996 - $27,602; 1997 - $405, for a total of $49,059 for all three years.
BENNETT is scheduled for sentencing on January 23, 2002, at 9:00 a.m. before Chief U.S. District Court Judge Howard McKibben. The offense of Making and Subscribing a False Income Tax Return is a felony, and has a maximum penalty of three years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence, however, will be dictated by the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of factors, and will be imposed in the discretion of the Court.
Special Agents with Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation conducted the investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Brian Sullivan.