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Press Release

Gypsum Man Pleads Guilty to Filing a False Tax Return

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Colorado

GRAND JUNCTION — The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado announces that Trenton Switzer, age 40, of Gypsum, CO pleaded guilty for willfully making and subscribing a false tax return.

According to the filed information and the stipulated facts in the plea agreement, Switzer created a nonprofit corporation in Colorado called the Church of Divine Sovereignty.  During the 24 hours that this corporation legally existed, Switzer obtained an Employer Identification Number and opened a bank account in its name.  Later, Switzer deposited $250,000 in the account and informed his return preparer that these deposits were charitable contributions.   After determining that Switzer’s “Church of Divine Sovereignty” did not qualify as a charitable organization, the preparer advised Switzer that the payments were not deductible.  Despite these warnings, Switzer nevertheless signed and personally filed his 2015 U.S. Federal Tax Return, falsely claiming a $250,000 charitable contribution deduction.

Fraud and false statements in a tax return carry a sentence of up to three years in prison, one year of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000.  As part of the plea agreement, Switzer has agreed to pay restitution of $241,964.71, plus penalties and interest to the IRS.

Switzer pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Gordon P. Gallagher on April 26, 2021, in Grand Junction.  He is scheduled to be sentenced on July 7, 2021, before U.S. District Court Judge Christine M. Arguello.

This matter was investigated by IRS-CI and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jeremy Chaffin.

Case No. 21-cr-00093-CMA-GPG

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Updated April 30, 2021