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Justice News

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

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Omak Mental Health Counselor Sentenced To Five Years Probation For Filing False Income Tax Return

Spokane – Michael C. Ormsby, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that Debra Van Brunt-Oreiro, age 59, of Omak, Washington, was sentenced today for filing a false income tax return. United States District Court Chief Judge Rosanna M. Peterson sentenced Van Brunt-Oreiro to a five-year term of probation. The Court ordered Van Brunt-Oreiro to pay $250,172 to the IRS in unpaid taxes, to perform 10 hours of community service on a weekly basis during her entire term of probation, and to pay a $100 penalty assessment. The Court also ordered that any proceeds Van Brunt Oreiro may receive from the sale of property she owns, which is held in trust by the Colville Confederated Tribe, will be garnished and distributed to the IRS.

According to information disclosed during court proceedings, Van Brunt-Oreiro was the owner-operator of ADJR Counseling Services in Omak, Washington, and provided mental health counseling and therapy services to Colville Confederated Tribal (CCT) members and non-members. Van Brunt-Oreiro was an independent contractor and not a tribal employee. According to court documents, Van Brunt-Oreiro filed false Federal income tax returns with the IRS for the years 2006, 2007 and 2008 which underreported income she received from the CCT by approximately $575,616. She also failed to file a 2009 Federal income tax return, even though she earned approximately $233,737 in income that year.

Michael C. Ormsby, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, said, "The privilege of living well in the United States carries certain burdens, one of which is the voluntary payment of taxes. The system only works when everyone truthfully reports their income and pays their fair share of taxes."

"When someone gives in to greed and cheats on their taxes, they cheat and steal from all of us," said Kenneth Hines, Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation's Seattle Field Office. "This sentencing demonstrates the committed efforts of the IRS and the United States Attorney's Office to bring to justice to those who shirk their duties as American citizens."

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