A Cautionary Tale On Tax Day: Penn Valley Accountant Sentenced To Prison For Tax Evasion
Craig Rosen, 61, a wealthy businessman who, for four years, failed to file federal income tax returns or pay taxes, was sentenced Monday to one year and one day in prison by U.S. District Judge Berle M. Schiller. Rosen pleaded guilty in November to four counts of tax evasion.
The defendant, who has a degree in accounting, owned and operated several successful businesses associated with medical treatment and pain relief. In each of the years 2009 through 2012, he earned income ranging from $175,000 and $432,000, but failed to file tax returns, report income or pay taxes for any of those years. He also took steps to conceal his true income, including paying personal debts from accounts that were not in his name.
“It’s our responsibility as Americans to comply with our tax laws,” said U.S. Attorney William M. McSwain. “This was a particularly brazen disregard of that responsibility, especially when you consider the defendant is an accountant. A prison sentence will serve as a deterrent to those who believe they can ignore the law and escape accountability.”
The explanation Rosen gave to investigators for his decision to stop paying taxes was his desire to avoid having to pay a large civil judgment owed to a former business partner. But, as prosecutors wrote in the government’s sentencing memo, “a desire to avoid paying a private creditor neither explains nor excuses a decision not to pay taxes.”
The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bea Witzleben.