Reston Man Pleads Guilty to Nine-Year Tax Evasion Scheme
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Michael Gerard Chauvin, 57, of Reston, Va., pleaded guilty today to engaging in a nine-year tax evasion scheme that prevented the IRS from collecting more than $670,000 owed.
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Jeannine Hammett, Acting Special Agent in Charge for IRS Criminal Investigation’s Washington, D.C., Field Office, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by United States District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema.
“Committing tax fraud increases the tax burden for all honest taxpayers,” said IRS Acting SAC Hammett. “We all pay when others swindle the government. IRS Criminal Investigation is committed to investigating individuals who intentionally conceal income and evade taxes.”
Chauvin pled guilty to tax evasion and faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison when he is sentenced on Sept. 23, 2011.
According to a statement of facts filed with his plea agreement, Chauvin owned landscaping businesses and provided real estate development consulting services from 1978 through 2007. In May and June 1997, the IRS assessed Chauvin with $402,369.92 in unpaid payroll taxes associated with his landscaping businesses.
Chauvin admitted that from 1997 through Sept. 20, 2006, he took a number of steps to evade paying the taxes, including depositing business income into his wife’s bank account and placing his real estate consulting business in his wife’s name; quit-claiming his residence to his wife, which prevented the IRS from receiving payment when the home sold for approximately $2 million; purchasing multiple investment properties in his wife’s name; and substantially understating his monthly income in forms provided to the IRS.
He admitted in court that the total tax loss resulting from his efforts to evade the payment of the 1997 payroll taxes he owed the IRS is $671,028.06.
This case was investigated by the IRS. Assistant United States Attorney Timothy D. Belevetz is prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.justice.gov/usao/vae. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on https://pcl.uscourts.gov.