June 26, 2009
SPRING MAN CONVICTED OF FAILURE TO FILE INCOME TAX RETURN
(HOUSTON) - Brendan F. Gowing, of Spring, Texas, has pleaded guilty to failing to file an income tax return on gross income of more than $1.7 million, U.S. Attorney Tim Johnson announced today.
According to the factual basis included in the plea agreement executed by Gowing today in open court, he willfully failed to file individual income tax returns for tax years 2002 - 2006, and in fact, has not filed an individual income tax return since the 1997 tax year. Gowing knew he was required to file individual income tax returns because he filed returns until 1998. In the years since, he has filed requests for extension of time to file, estimating he owed zero taxes. In addition, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) civil personnel prepared and filed substitute for returns for 1998 - 2000 and mailed numerous notices to Gowing beginning in 2003. At that time, he engaged an attorney and an accountant to remedy the mounting problems with the IRS, but Gowing did not provide them all of the information they needed to report his tax liabilities, resulting in Gowing not filing any returns. In 2006, Gowing paid the balance due on the 1998 - 2000 substitute for returns at the same time he refinanced his home. The home had been encumbered by an IRS tax lien, which was removed after the IRS received funds from the refinancing process. Gowing and his family lived in a home valued around $346,000 and later purchased a $700,000 beach home on Tiki Island, Texas, making a $58,000 down payment. He and his wife also bought a series of cars, including a 2003 Lexus convertible, a 2004 Hummer and a $53,000 Lexus all paid for in full at the time of purchase. His wife also bought a $73,000 2007 Cadillac Escalade in August 2006, stating in her financing application that her gross income from all sources was $500,000.
As part of his agreement with the United States, the IRS may be entitled civilly to and may seek additional taxes, interest and penalties from defendant on all tax years relating to the conduct underlying this case.
At sentencing, he faces a maximum penalty of up to one year imprisonment and up to a $25,000 fine.
The investigation leading to the charge was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation Division and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen L. Corso.
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