News and Press Releases

Admits paid too little tax on more than $2 million in receipts paid by U.S. Postal Service

December 1, 2006

GUY V. FLAKE, 51, of Sumner, Washington was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to 12 months and a day for Income Tax Evasion. FLAKE pleaded guilty in September 2006. According to the plea agreement, FLAKE is a contractor who installed and maintained mailboxes for the United States Postal Service. Over the years 1998-2000, the Postal Service paid FLAKE $2,126,843 for his contracting services. According to conservative government estimates, FLAKE underpaid his income taxes during that period by at least $154,433.

According to the plea agreement FLAKE failed to file a tax return in 1998, failing to report some $531,303.53 paid to him by the Postal Service. FLAKE filed an untimely tax return for 1999 in March, 2001. In 1999, he was paid $1,034,733.18 by the Postal Service, but reported only $573,388 of the gross receipts, a discrepancy of more than $460,000. For the year 2000, FLAKE admits he again under reported his income by at least $43,000. According to documents filed in the case, FLAKE had his then-girlfriend (now wife) create a business bank account where the Postal Service checks were deposited. The girlfriend then wrote checks on that account to FLAKE. The prosecutor argued that FLAKE concocted this scheme as an attempt to hide his income.

In seeking a prison sentence, Assistant United States Attorney Janet Freeman noted that FLAKE benefitted by cheating the United States Treasury on the backs of law abiding taxpayers. “By not paying all of his income taxes, unlike so many law-abiding taxpayers, the defendant had extra cash available to him, which he used to fund his comfortable lifestyle, including the purchase of several homes [with cash] ... in Tennessee, Utah, and Lake Tapps in Sumner,” Freeman wrote in her sentencing memo. She urged U.S. District Judge Franklin D. Burgess to impose a prison term to hold FLAKE accountable, and deter others who might consider evading their income tax obligations.

Judge Burgess not only sentenced FLAKE to serve twelve months in prison for his crime, but also ordered FLAKE to pay $154,433 to the U.S. Treasury by the end of the day. At the sentencing, FLAKE’S lawyer told the Court that FLAKE was prepared to write a check, and the Court agreed.

FLAKE was indicted by a grand jury on May 5, 2006. The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-DI) and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Janet Freeman.

For additional information please call Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (205)553-4110.

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