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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Virginia Electrician Pleads Guilty to Attempting to Obstruct the IRS

A Cumberland, Virginia, resident pleaded guilty to one count of corruptly endeavoring to impair and impede the due administration of the internal revenue laws, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Caroline D. Ciraolo of the Justice Department’s Tax Division.

Richard Alex, a self-employed low-voltage electrician, admitted that he did not file a timely or valid tax return for more than a decade.  For tax years 1998 and 2000 through 2003, Alex filed a tax return on which he falsely claimed that he had not earned any income.  Alex failed to file any tax returns for the 2004 through 2013 tax years, despite receiving income above the filing threshold each year, as well as numerous warnings and notices from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

According to court documents, Alex attempted to conceal his assets and income to prevent the IRS from collecting his unpaid taxes.  Starting in 2004, Alex used bank accounts held in the names of nominees to receive income he earned from dispatch companies for subcontract work.  Alex also provided false information to a tax return preparer for the purpose of preparing federal tax returns for Alex’s nominee business, Cole Data Services.

Alex’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for Oct. 5.  He faces a statutory maximum sentence of three years in prison.  Alex also faces financial penalties and a term of supervised release.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Ciraolo commended special agents of IRS–Criminal Investigation, who investigated the case, and thanked the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia for their assistance, as well as Trial Attorney Sean Beaty of the Tax Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney C. Patrick Hogeboom, who are prosecuting the case.

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

Press Release Number: 
Updated July 12, 2016