News and Press Releases

Former Partner of Convicted Income Tax Fraudster Indicted for Continuing Scheme

April 12, 2010

SHARON D. KUKHAHN, a/k/a Sharon Stephenson, 61, of Tacoma, Washington was arrested today on an indictment returned by the grand jury in the Western District of Washington, charging her with Conspiracy, four counts of Tax Evasion and Corrupt Interference with Internal Revenue Laws. KUKHAHN will make her initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Tacoma today at 2:30.

According to the indictment, KUKHAHN promoted the same type of abusive trust scheme that in 2006, sent her partner, David Carroll Stephenson, 54, to prison for eight years. Stephenson was convicted following a two week trial and ordered to pay $8.5 million in restitution. The indictment of KUKHAHN details steps she took from 1999 to 2005, as part of a conspiracy to promote an abusive trust scheme designed to hide individual taxpayers’ income and assets from the IRS. The indictment alleges that, in total, the conspirators sold trust packages to more than 400 individuals. Purchases used the trust packages to conceal income and assets from the IRS, and, as a result, failed to pay in excess of $7,000,000, in income taxes. The indictment alleges that through her own use of the trust packages, KUKHAHN evaded paying income taxes in 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006.

Finally the indictment alleges that KUKHAHN engaged in a business that attempted to thwart the efforts of the IRS to collect taxes owed by advising clients that they did not owe taxes. KUKHAHN provided a false interpretation of tax laws, and provided a frivolous letter writing service for clients designed to thwart IRS efforts to collect taxes owed. KUKHAHN sold this scheme to more than 1,400 clients, thereby assisting them to cheat the U.S. out of more than $4 million in income taxes.

If convicted KUKHAHN faces up to five years in prison for each count of tax evasion and for the conspiracy count. KUKAHAN faces up to three years in prison for Corrupt Interference with Internal Revenue Laws. Each count carries a $250,000 fine.

The charges contained in the indictment are only allegations. A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

The case is being investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI).

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Arlen Storm and U.S. Department of Justice Trial Attorney Mike Romano.

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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