News and Press Releases

Amarillo Lawyer Sentenced to 38 Months in Federal Prison for Failing to File Federal Income Tax Returns

July 17, 2012

Defendant Fled to Canada Shortly Before He Was Indicted in November 2005 and Was Arrested at DFW Airport in Early 2012

AMARILLO, Texas — John Lewis Lesly was sentenced this morning by U.S. Magistrate Judge Clinton E. Averitte to a total of 38 months in federal prison, and ordered to pay $847,252 in restitution, following his guilty plea in April 2012 to an indictment, returned by a federal grand jury in Amarillo on November 9, 2005, charging four counts of failing to file tax returns, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.

According to the factual resume filed in the case, as well as the executed arrest warrant, in July 2003, aware of the investigation, Lesley obtained legal counsel to represent him. In late October 2005, Lesly fled to Canada and remained a fugitive until February 29, 2012, when he was arrested, pursuant to a bench warrant, at Dallas - Fort Worth International Airport by special agents with Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation. Prior to fleeing, Lesly practiced law and resided in the Amarillo area.

The factual resume further states that prior to becoming aware of an income tax investigation, Lesly had not filed an income tax return since 1976, despite large amounts of gross income: $493,706 in 1999; $1,898,527 in 2000; $68,238 in 2001; and $257,892 in 2002. Lesly filed the 2002 return after he learned that he was the subject of an income tax investigation. The total amount of tax due and owing to the IRS for 1999 through 2002 is $847,252.

The case was investigated by Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christy Drake, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Amarillo, was in charge of the prosecution.



















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