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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of California

Friday, August 26, 2016

Medical Device Company CEO Pleads Guilty to Tax Evasion

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Briant Benson, 59, of El Dorado Hills, pleaded guilty today to tax evasion, Acting United States Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

According to court documents, during the years 2004 through 2006, Benson failed to file tax returns or pay any personal income tax to the Internal Revenue Service, despite receiving at least $2 million dollars in income as the President and CEO of multiple medical device companies. Further, Benson used corporate funds to support his lavish lifestyle. He used corporate funds to purchase multimillion dollar homes, buy hundreds of thousands of dollars in jewelry and furniture, and pay for lavish travel accommodations such as luxury hotels, private jets, and limousines. Benson also used corporate funds to pay over half a million dollars in gambling debt. Nevertheless, when confronted by IRS officers, Benson denied using corporate funds for his personal use.

Benson’s failure to report his personal income and pay taxes due and owing on that income resulted in a tax loss of at least $249,000.

“In today’s economic environment, it is more important than ever that the American people feel that everyone is playing by the rules and paying the taxes they owe,” said Michael T. Batdorf, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation. “Mr. Benson concealed his true income from the IRS and rather than paying his taxes, he paid for multimillion dollar homes, private jets, limousines and luxury hotel stays. The prosecution of individuals who intentionally conceal income and evade taxes is vital in maintaining public confidence in our tax system.”

This case is the product of an investigation by the IRS Criminal Investigation. Assistant United States Attorneys Matthew D. Segal and Amy Schuller Hitchcock are prosecuting the case.

Benson is scheduled for sentencing on December 2, 2016, by U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. Benson faces a maximum statutory sentence of five years in prison and a $100,000 fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.

Press Release Number: 
Updated August 26, 2016