Two Tax Shelter Promoters Found Guilty in Billion-Dollar Syndicated Conservation Easement Tax Scheme
A former corporate officer of a produce vendor in Johnson Creek, Wisconsin was sentenced today to 18 months in prison for tax evasion, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Scott C. Blader for the Western District of Wisconsin.
According to court documents and information provided to the court, Thomas G. Paine was the Vice President and Treasurer of G.W. Paine Inc., which sold fresh fruit and other produce under the business name Tree Ripe Citrus Company. Paine was responsible for the finance and tax aspects of the business, but failed to file corporate tax returns for tax years 1997 through 2012 and concealed the business’ income from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by structuring cash bank deposits in amounts less than $10,000 to evade bank reporting requirements. Paine admitted to causing a tax loss between $250,000 and $550,000.
In addition to the term of imprisonment, U.S. District Court Judge James D. Peterson ordered Paine to serve two years supervised release and to pay restitution of $421,621.99.
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman and U.S. Attorney Blader commended special agents of IRS Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Altman and Trial Attorney Eric C. Schmale of the Tax Division, who are prosecuted the case.