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WILLFUL FAILURE TO FILE TAX RETURNS RESULTS IN PRISON TIME
Renton Multi-Level Marketer Sent to Prison for Failing to File and Pay $1.8 Million in Taxes

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 20, 2009

DONALD E. PARTRIDGE, 55, of Renton, Washington, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to two months in prison, four months of home detention, and three years of supervised release for three misdemeanor counts of Willful Failure to File Tax Returns. In his plea agreement PARTRIDGE admitted that between 1996 and 2002, he made more than $3.3 million, and failed to pay taxes of just over a $1 million. In 2003, PARTRIDGE made nearly $355,000 and failed to pay taxes of more than $107,000. In 2004, PARTRIDGE made more than $500,000 and failed to pay taxes of $163,000. In 2005, PARTRIDGE made more than $1 million and failed to pay taxes of more than $308,000. In 2006, PARTRIDGE made over $500,000 and failed to pay taxes of more than $178,000. In all PARTRIDGE failed to pay more than $1.8 million in income taxes.

PARTRIDGE operates his own business, Natural Health Resources, selling naturopathic and holistic vitamins and supplements. PARTRIDGE was a leading salesperson for Mannatech, a Texas multi-level marketing company that sells nutritional supplements.

At sentencing Chief U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik said, “There is an underpinning of outrage with people who are not paying their fair share.... Mr. Partridge has been shamed and publicly humiliated by the crimes he committed.“

PARTRIDGE has already paid the IRS, $1,814,874, representing income taxes owed for tax years 1996 through 2006. PARTRIDGE still owes interest totaling $1,296,292 for tax years 1996 through 2006, and penalties totaling $1,113,444 for tax years 2000 through 2006.

Those who fail to file their income tax returns face an average sentence of 40 months in prison according to records from the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation. Over the last three years, nearly 800 people have been sentenced for failing to file their income tax returns, and more than 80% of them have been sentenced to prison. Of those sentenced to prison, the average term of incarceration was just over 40 months in a federal prison, halfway house or home detention.

Over the last 15 months, at least eight people in Western Washington have been indicted, pleaded guilty or were sentenced for willfully failing to file their income tax returns.

“There are a lot of responsibilities that come along with living in this great country, and those responsibilities include filing your federal income tax returns on time and paying your appropriate tax due,” said Kenneth J. Hines, the IRS Special Agent in Charge of the Pacific Northwest. “The freedoms that our country provides are second to none and it is simply not right or fair for some individuals to think they are exempt from federal income tax laws and other laws that govern our country. The bottom line is that willfully not filing tax returns, or not filing accurate tax returns, are just methods of shifting your responsibilities to others in your community.”

The case was investigated by Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI). The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jim Lord.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@USDOJ.Gov.

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