North Carolina Man Convicted of Tax Evasion
United States Attorney Deborah R. Gilg announced that Chet Lee West, 59, of Nebo, North Carolina, was convicted on Tuesday, February 25, 2015, after a jury found him guilty of three counts of tax evasion relating to tax years 2007, 2008 and 2009. Chief Judge Laurie Smith Camp presided over the trial that was held in United States District Court. Sentencing has been set for May 18, 2015. Mr. West faces up to 5 years imprisonment for each count of conviction as well as a $250,000 fine. Mr. West represented himself during the trial. He was remanded to the custody of the United States Marshal after the return of the guilty verdicts.
From 2007 through 2009 West earned taxable income of approximately $272,224.00 while living and working in Omaha, Nebraska. Upon that income West had a tax due and owing of approximately $52,824.00. West willfully evaded his personal income taxes by failing to file Forms 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Returns for tax years 2007 through 2009. After being informed by the Internal Revenue Service that he was required to file U.S. Individual Income Tax Returns, West continued to submit information to his employer in an attempt to avoid withholding any employment taxes from his pay, including numerous letters and affidavits stating his position that he was not required to pay income taxes. From 2007 through 2009, West also deposited personal income into bank accounts opened in the names of companies he created in an effort to hide and conceal his income from the Internal Revenue Service. West had not filed federal individual income tax returns since at least the 2000 tax year.
The case was investigated by Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations.