21 Year Fugitive Sentenced On 1992 Tax Fraud Charges
SAN FRANCISCO – Francisco R. Legaspi was sentenced today to 21 months for aiding and assisting in the preparation and presentation of false tax returns and for failing to appear for his sentencing on the tax charges originally scheduled to take place on Jan. 28, 1993, U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag and IRS-CI Special Agent in Charge José M. Martinez, announced.
According to the plea agreement, Legaspi was indicted on August 19, 1992, on three counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation and presentation of false tax returns. He was released from custody with the condition that he appear in court for all hearings. He pleaded guilty on November 5, 1992, to one count of preparing a false tax return. Legaspi’s attorney told him that his sentencing was set for January 28, 1993. On January 27, 1993, IRS employees went to Legaspi’s business to collect unpaid withholding payroll taxes. During the visit an IRS employee and Legaspi discussed the fact that he was scheduled to appear in court the next day for his criminal case. The next day, January 28, 1993, Legapsi intentionally did not appear for sentencing and fled to Mexico and later to Canada to avoid prison time for his tax crime.
Legaspi, 61, formerly of Daly City, was located in Canada in 2012, after the State Department Bureau of Diplomatic Security researched social media websites and found Legaspi’s Facebook page. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police used the information to apprehend Legaspi. Thereafter, he was extradited from Canada to the United States with the assistance of the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs and the United States Marshals Service. Legaspi made his initial appearance in federal court in San Francisco On July 1, 2014.
The sentence was handed down by the Honorable William H. Orrick, United States District Court Judge, in San Francisco. Judge Orrick also sentenced Legaspi to a 1-year period of supervised release.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Moore is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Paralegal Specialist Edward Solis. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the IRS, Criminal Investigation with assistance from the State Department Bureau of Diplomatic Security, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the United States Marshals Service, and United States Department of Justice, Office of International Affairs.