GREENEVILLE, Tenn. –On May 1, 2017, David Lee Byrd, 58, and his wife, Paula Ruth Hall Byrd, 58, both of Limestone, Tennessee, were sentenced by the Honorable J. Ronnie Greer, U.S. District Judge. David Byrd was ordered to serve 10 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release. Paula Byrd was ordered to serve four years on probation. Both were ordered to pay restitution of $134,359 to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), fines of $5,000 each, and $100 special assessments.
Both David and Paula Byrd pleaded guilty in December 2016 to an information charging them with income tax evasion for the year 2008. Information on file with the U.S. District Court shows that David and Paula Byrd were self-employed computer software consultants who worked in the airline industry, creating and updating computer programs. During 2006 through 2008, they lived in Frankfurt, Germany, and contracted with Practical Business Services LTD, a British entity, to provide services to Lufthansa Airlines. Paula Byrd directed Practical Business Services to send her compensation, totaling $428,185, to bank accounts in Switzerland titled in the name of David Byrd. David Byrd directed Practical Business Services to send his compensation, totaling $508,313, to an American bank account titled in the name of David Byrd. They completely omitted Paula Byrd’s income and failed to disclose David Byrd’s ownership of foreign bank accounts on their 2006, 2007, and 2008 federal income tax returns. The Byrds’ evasion was revealed as a result of treaties negotiated by the United States with Switzerland, which had previously declined to provide information to American law enforcement authorities.
U.S. Attorney Nancy Stallard Harr and IRS Special Agent in Charge Tracey D. Montano noted the importance of the treaties with Switzerland and other countries regarding the use of foreign bank accounts to thwart federal income tax collection and pledged to use all lawful means to identify and prosecute those who evade taxes by concealing income in offshore bank accounts.
This investigation was conducted by IRS – Criminal Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Helen Smith represented the United States.