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Press Release

Rhode Island Man Pleads Guilty to Tax Evasion

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs
Evaded Taxes from 2005 through 2016 and Obstructed IRS Efforts to Assess and Collect

A Hope, Rhode Island, man who failed to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal income taxes pleaded guilty yesterday to tax evasion, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Aaron L. Weisman for the District of Rhode Island.  

According to court documents, from 2005 through 2016, Billie Schofield worked for local fishing companies and earned hundreds of thousands of dollars in income. Schofield evaded the assessment of taxes on income earned through multiple commercial activities by causing payments to be made through a nominee business and depositing money in a nominee account. He obstructed the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) efforts by filing false income tax returns, preventing the delivery of IRS levy notices to his employer, and by sending bogus checks to the IRS in a fraudulent attempt to pay off an IRS lien placed on his property.  Schofield’s conduct resulted in a tax loss of more than $250,000.

Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 13 before U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith.  The defendant faces a statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison for the tax evasion charge.  He also faces a period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties.  

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman and U.S. Attorney Weisman thanked special agents of IRS Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation and Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandra Hebert and Trial Attorney Christopher O’Donnell of the Tax Division, who are prosecuting the case. 

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

Updated April 23, 2019

Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 19-407