Lincoln Man Pleads Guilty to Tax Evasion and Weapons Possession
HELENA – Dennis Peiker, 61, of Lincoln, Montana, pleaded guilty today to one count of tax evasion and two counts of felon in possession of a firearm. The charges stemmed from two indictments arising from years of tax evasion and firearms found at Peiker’s residence in 2011 and 2015. Peiker appeared before District Court Judge Charles Lovell in Helena to enter the guilty pleas.
The maximum sentence on the tax evasion charge is five years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and three years of supervised release. Each charge of felon in possession of a firearm carries a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and three years of supervised release. Peiker was convicted in August of this year of the manufacture of more than 100 marijuana plants in connection with the same incident that lead to the 2015 firearms possession charge. Peiker also has a prior conviction for two counts of tax fraud in 1999, which made it illegal for him to possess firearms.
In addition to Peiker’s guilty plea to the three counts in the indictments, Peiker also has agreed to pay restitution amounting to nearly $410,000 in back taxes owed to the Internal Revenue Service for the tax years 2002 to 2009.
Had the case proceeded to trial, the United States was prepared to prove that following his 1999 conviction for tax fraud, Peiker failed to make tax payments for the years 2002-2009. As part of his attempted evasion, Peiker concealed the true nature of his assets, made false statements to IRS officials, and placed funds and property in the names of others. With respect to the firearms charges, the United States expected to prove that on two separate occasions Peiker illegally possessed a semi-automatic pistol, two single-shot rifles, three automatic rifles, a shotgun and ammunition. Judge Lovell set a sentencing date of April 14, 2016 in Helena.
The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Office as part of the Missouri River Drug Task Force. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Paulette Stewart and Chad Spraker and Trial Attorney John Mulcahy of the DOJ’s Tax Division.