Maine Businessman Sentenced to Prison for Tax Crimes
A Brunswick, Maine, businessman was sentenced to prison today for tax crimes in U.S. District Court for the District of Maine, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Caroline D. Ciraolo of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty II of the District of Maine.
F. William Messier, 71, and David E. Robinson, 78, both of Brunswick, were convicted on April 3 after a five-day jury trial of conspiracy to defraud the United States and corruptly endeavoring to impede the lawful administration of the Internal Revenue Code. U.S. District Judge D. Brock Hornby of the District of Maine sentenced Messier to serve one year and one day in prison and three years of supervised release. The court also ordered Messier to pay a $15,000 fine and file federal income tax returns dating back to 2005. Robinson’s sentencing has been scheduled for Oct. 5.
According to trial testimony, Messier, doing business as Oak Hill Communications, earned income generated on leases from telecommunication towers located on his Brunswick property. From 1999 through 2014, Messier engaged in conduct that was intended to impede and obstruct the enforcement of the Internal Revenue laws, including the provision of false tax documents to customers, obstruction of IRS collection activities and extensive use of cash. In 2012, the IRS assessed taxes and interest against Messier totaling $172,094 for tax years 2000 to 2004. Robinson claimed to be the “Interim Attorney General” of the “Maine Republic Free State” and advocated that people not pay federal and state taxes. According to witness testimony, after the IRS sent Notices of Levy to Messier’s customers to collect the taxes due and owing, Robinson and Messier presented the IRS with a fake money order for the amount due by Messier and other false documents. Messier and Robinson also urged customers not to honor the levies or to pay the IRS, directed customers to pay Messier in cash, and sent threatening and misleading correspondence to Oak Hill Communications customers urging them not to cooperate with the IRS. The defendants also filed civil lawsuits against some of Messier’s customers and employees of the IRS, which were dismissed in separate proceedings.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Ciraolo and U.S. Attorney Delahanty commended the special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, who investigated the case, and Assistant U.S. Attorney James W. Chapman Jr. of the District of Maine and Assistant Chief Karen E. Kelly of the Tax Division, who are prosecuting the case.