Denver Business Owner Sentenced For Tax Evasion
DENVER – Christopher Paul Kelly, age 52, of Colorado Springs, Colorado was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge William J. Martinez to serve 20 months in federal prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release for tax evasion, announced United States Attorney Bob Troyer and IRS – Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Steven Osborne. Kelly was also ordered to pay restitution of $929,098.39 to the IRS. He was indicted by a federal grand jury on June 7, 2017, and pled guilty on December 7, 2017. The defendant was ordered to report to a prison designated by the Bureau of Prisons on August 15, 2018.
According to information contained in the indictment and plea agreement, from 2001 through 2015, Kelly operated merchant card services businesses, which sold vendors the ability to accept credit card payments. These businesses caused Kelly to earn taxable income, generating tax due of more than $500,000 in tax years 2006, 2007, 2012, and 2013. Between 2008 and 2015, Kelly rented homes as his personal residence and purchased or leased expensive automobiles instead of paying his outstanding tax liabilities. In 2008, Kelly caused J.L. to purchase a Mercedes automobile for $80,346.19, which Kelly paid for and used personally.
Kelly avoided these tax obligations by operating through various different companies, which continued to pay him hundreds of thousands of dollars. When contacted by the IRS regarding the outstanding tax liabilities, Kelly made false statements to the IRS Revenue Officer. Kelly then withdrew the balance of his 401(k) account and cashed out the value of his life insurance account, eliminating the ability to place a levy on these accounts. When the IRS levied Kelly’s U.S. Bank account, Kelly stopped depositing funds into that account and instead started depositing much of his income and paying personal expenses out of a bank account controlled by his common law wife.
“Tax thieves steal from all of us,” said U.S. Attorney Troyer. “Kelly’s decision to cheat the system was actually a decision to spend 20 months behind bars.”
“Tax evasion is not a victimless crime,” said Steven Osborne, Special Agent in Charge, IRS – Criminal Investigation, Denver Field Office. “We all pay when others swindle the government. Mr. Kelly chose to ignore his duty to file and pay his taxes and as a result, he is now a convicted felon with a prison term to serve.”
This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Pegeen Rhyne with Assistant U.S. Attorney Martha Paluch handling the sentencing hearing.