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Press Release

Part-Owner of Internet Provider for U.S. Troops at Kandahar Airfield Pleads Guilty to Tax Evasion

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs
Defendant Concealed More Than $2 million of Income

A U.S. businessman pleaded guilty today to evading his federal income taxes.

According to court documents and statements made in court, since 2007, Robert N. Dooner has lived outside the United States, intermittently in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Ibiza, Spain.  Starting in approximately 2007, Dooner worked as a business associate of Individual-1, an American living abroad. Together with others, including Individual-1, Dooner formed a joint venture incorporated in the UAE to provide internet services to U.S. military personnel at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan. Individual-1 helped fund the joint venture with proceeds from Company-1 – a business providing commodities to the U.S. Department of Defense in Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan and the Middle East. 

For 2015 through 2019, Dooner evaded taxes owed to the IRS by underreporting to his tax preparer the profits he earned from his ownership interest in the joint venture, as well as other compensation he received through his work for Individual-1. Dooner diverted his distributions to UAE bank accounts in the name of a Dubai-based shell company and then tried to conceal the foreign bank account records when they were specifically requested by U.S. authorities. In total, Dooner concealed approximately $2 million he earned from 2015 through 2019, causing a tax loss to the IRS of more than $744,977.

Dooner is the fifth defendant associated with the defense contracting company to plead guilty. Charles Squires pleaded guilty to tax evasion in February 2022, James Robar pleaded guilty to tax evasion in March 2022, Ronald “Ron” Thomas pleaded guilty to tax evasion in April 2022 and Zachary “Zack” Friedman pleaded guilty to tax evasion in August 2022.

Dooner faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison. He also faces a period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves for the District of Columbia made the announcement.  

IRS-Criminal Investigation and the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction are investigating the case. Assistance was provided by the Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement (J5), which brings together the taxing authorities of Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States. The Tax Division and U.S. Attorney’s Office thank His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs of the United Kingdom for their extensive assistance in this matter.

Senior Litigation Counsel Nanette Davis and Trial Attorneys Sarah Ranney and Ezra Spiro of the Tax Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Leslie Goemaat for the District of Columbia are prosecuting the case.

Updated November 3, 2023

Topic
Tax
Component
Press Release Number: 23-1232