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Press Release

Oregon Tax Fraud Promoter Sentenced to Prison for Sending Fraudulent Financial Instruments and Failing to File Tax Returns

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

A Hillsboro, Oregon, tax fraud promoter was sentenced to ten years in prison today for submitting fraudulent financial instruments to financial institutions and the U.S. Treasury and failing to file income tax returns, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division.

According to court documents and evidence presented at his April 2017 jury trial, from approximately 2008 through 2015, Winston Shrout, 70, created and submitted more than 300 fraudulent financial instruments with the intent of defrauding financial institutions and the U.S. Treasury.  Shrout held seminars and private meetings to promote and market the use of these fraudulent financial instruments to pay off debts, including federal taxes.  Shrout sold recordings of his seminars, templates for fraudulent financial instruments and other materials through his website.

The evidence presented at trial also proved that Shrout failed to file his 2009 through 2014 tax returns despite earning substantial income from seminars, licensing fees associated with the sale of his products and annual pension payments. Shrout admitted during trial that he had not paid income tax for at least twenty years.

In addition to the term of imprisonment, U.S. District Judge Robert E. Jones ordered Shrout to serve five years of supervised release and pay restitution to the IRS.

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman commended special agents of IRS–Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Trial Attorneys Stuart Wexler and Lee Langston of the Tax Division, who prosecuted the case.  Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman also thanked the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon for their support during the investigation and prosecution of this case.

Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the division’s website

Updated October 22, 2018

Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 18-1374