A federal jury sitting in the District of Minnesota convicted a Minnesota chiropractor today of five counts of tax evasion and one count of presenting a fake financial instrument to the U.S. Department of Treasury, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Caroline D. Ciraolo, head of the Justice Department’s Tax Division, and U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger for the District of Minnesota.
Donald Gibson was convicted following a five-day trial before U.S. District Court Judge Patrick J. Schiltz. According to the evidence presented at trial, Gibson failed to file his 2004 through 2014 individual income tax returns and attempted to evade his income tax liabilities for these years by diverting money to a warehouse bank called MYICIS, cashing over $800,000 in business checks at a check-cashing facility, and submitting fake money orders and bogus financial instruments to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Gibson also formed Sovereign Christian Mission (SCM), a purported religious organization, as a way to further hide his chiropractic income and pay for his personal expenses. Gibson used SCM to pay for his groceries, entertainment, dinners, and car repairs. Evidence presented at trial established that while the IRS was auditing his tax returns, and later during the criminal investigation, Gibson presented a fake financial instrument purporting to be worth $300 million to the IRS and claimed that it paid off his income tax liabilities.
“Donald Gibson blatantly disregarded his federal tax obligations, leaving honest taxpayers to bear the burden of his crimes,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Ciraolo. “Individuals who ignore their obligations and willfully evade taxes will find that the Department, along with its law enforcement partners at the IRS, is committed to holding them fully accountable for their criminal conduct.”
“This defendant abused the tax system for his own financial benefit,” said U.S. Attorney Luger. “Federal law enforcement will continue to hold accountable those who do not meet their tax obligations, instead shifting their responsibilities onto the backs of honest taxpayers.”
“Today’s guilty verdict of Donald Gibson emphasizes that the IRS and the Department of Justice will continue their aggressive pursuit of those who intentionally evade their taxes,” said IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Shea Jones. “This conviction sends a message that the IRS is working to make sure that all taxpayers file and pay their fair share of taxes.”
Sentencing will be scheduled at a later date. Gibson faces a statutory maximum sentence of 25 years in prison for presenting a fake financial instrument to the Department of Treasury and five years in prison for each of the tax evasion convictions. Gibson also faces a period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties.
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Ciraolo and U.S. Attorney Luger commended special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Trial Attorney Ryan Raybould of the Tax Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Thompson, who prosecuted the case.
Additional information about the Tax Division’s enforcement efforts can be found on the division’s website.