Wyoming Businessman Sentenced for Obstructing the Internal Revenue Service
On Dec. 15, 2014, a Casper, Wyoming, man was sentenced to serve one year and one day in prison for tax fraud by U.S. District Court Judge Alan B. Johnson in the District of Wyoming.
Sonny Pilcher pleaded guilty on June 2, 2014, to one count of obstructing the administration of the internal revenue laws. During his guilty plea hearing, Pilcher admitted that he claimed a false expense of $258,000 for a repaid business loan on his tax return for 2008, and, over several years, he paid his employees in cash to evade employment taxes.
At the sentencing hearing, the government’s evidence showed that Pilcher impeded the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by destroying income records for his business, CC Cowboys, commingling money between bank accounts of separate businesses, and creating 242 fraudulent invoices totaling $3.9 million. The evidence showed that in 2007 and 2008, Pilcher received approximately $750,000 from the fraudulent invoices, which was not reported on his income tax returns. In a previous interview with the IRS special agent investigating the case, Pilcher admitted that he did not have a personal bank account and that he only ever used cash to pay for his living expenses.
Pilcher was also sentenced to one year of supervised release following his prison term and required to pay a $10,000 fine.
This case was investigated by special agents in the Cheyenne, Wyoming, office of IRS-Criminal Investigation and was prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Lori A. Hendrickson and Ignacio Perez de la Cruz of the Justice Department’s Tax Division.