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Press Release

Moses Lake Businessman Sentenced To Federal Prison For Failing To Report $2.6 Million In Income

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

Spokane - Michael C. Ormsby, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that J. Scott Vrieling, age 50, of Moses Lake, Washington, was sentenced today after having been convicted of four counts of failing to file federal income tax returns for the years 2004 through 2007. United States District Court Judge Robert H. Whaley, Jr. sentenced Vrieling to a 24-month term of imprisonment and a one-year term of court supervision following release from federal prison. Judge Whaley ordered Vrieling to pay $939,258 to the IRS for unpaid taxes, to file all delinquent income tax returns, and to pay penalties and interest in an amount to be determined by the IRS. Judge Whaley also ordered Vrieling to pay a fine in the amount of $100,000, the cost of prosecution in the amount of $14,269, and special penalty assessments in the amount of $100. Vrieling was taken into custody by the U.S. Marshal Service at the conclusion of today's sentencing hearing.

According to court records, Vrieling is the owner of Vrieling Financial located in Moses Lake, Washington. He is an independent insurance agent licensed to sell employee benefits, health insurance, and other insurance products.

By way of a four-count indictment that was returned by the grand jury in April, 2011, Vrieling was charged with four counts of failing to file federal income tax returns. Following a four-day jury trial in October, 2012, Vrieling was convicted on all counts. Evidence at trial established that Vrieling received over $2.6 million in gross income during the years 2004 through 2007. The evidence also established that Vrieling failed to file federal tax returns reporting this income and that he owed $956,258 in taxes.

Michael C. Ormsby said, "The United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Washington aggressively investigates and prosecutes tax crimes. The privilege of living in the United States carries certain responsibilities, one of which is the payment of federal taxes. Everyone must pay their fair share and there are significant consequences for those who chose to cheat the system."

"There are people out there who willfully defy the tax laws based on false ideas and beliefs," said Tamera D. Cantu, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation in Seattle. "Today's sentencing proves again that not fulfilling your tax obligations doesn't make them go away, it just puts you at risk of penalties, prosecution, and prison."

The investigation was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation. The case was prosecuted by George J.C. Jacobs, III, an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.


Updated January 29, 2015