Federal Jury Finds Santa Fe Engineer Guilty of Obstructing IRS and Filing False Tax Returns
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico
ALBUQUERQUE – Acting U.S. Attorney James D. Tierney and Ismael Nevarez Jr., Special Agent in Charge of the Phoenix Field Office of IRS Criminal Investigation announced that a federal jury sitting in Albuquerque, N.M., returned a verdict yesterday afternoon finding Darryl J. Gutierrez of Santa Fe, N.M., guilty of violating the federal tax laws. Gutierrez, 61, was found guilty of obstructing and impeding the administration of the internal revenue laws and filing false tax returns.
Gutierrez was indicted on Nov. 5, 2015, and charged with one count of obstructing and impeding the due administration of the internal revenue laws and ten counts of making and subscribing false tax returns.
The trial of Gutierrez on the eleven-count indictment began on March 27, 2017, and concluded yesterday afternoon when the jury returned a guilty verdict on all eleven counts of the indictment. During the trial, the jury learned that Gutierrez was an electrical engineer who worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory for almost 30 years, earning an annual salary ranging from $80,000.00 to $115,000.00 in tax years 2000 to 2009. The evidence at trial also established that Gutierrez, after years of regularly filing timely income tax returns with the IRS, stopped complying with the federal tax laws and began engaging in a pattern of obstructive conduct to prevent the IRS from assessing and collecting his taxes.
The evidence at trial showed that Gutierrez’s obstructive tactics included sending frivolous correspondence to the IRS, and, submitting, under penalty of perjury, false tax information to his employer and to the IRS. For instance, the evidence showed that Gutierrez submitted, under penalty of perjury, false withholdings information (Forms W-4) to his employer and false statements of his wages on his personal income tax returns (Forms 1040) filed with the IRS. The evidence further showed that between Nov. 2010 and Jan. 2011, Gutierrez filed ten false federal income tax returns for tax years 2000 to 2009 seeking a refund when in fact Gutierrez owed the IRS approximately $125,000.
“Our tax system depends on each one of us truthfully reporting our income to the IRS. Anybody can make an honest mistake, but deliberate lies on an income tax return are a crime. As we go into tax filing season, honest taxpayers should take some comfort in knowing that everybody has to follow the same rules, and that those who don’t are facing criminal prosecution and imprisonment,” said Acting U.S. Attorney James D. Tierney. “Taxpayers should also know that the IRS makes every effort to work with taxpayers who are trying in good faith to meet their tax obligations.”
“This verdict should send a clear message that citizens have a duty to comply with the tax laws in our country,” said IRS-Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Ismael Nevarez, Jr. “I also hope it deters others who might consider relying on frivolous anti-tax arguments.”
Gutierrez faces a statutory maximum penalty of three years of imprisonment on each of the eleven charges on which he was convicted. Gutierrez was ordered to post a $200,000 bond pending sentencing. A sentencing date has yet to be scheduled.
This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of IRS Criminal Investigation, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Margaret Vierbuchen and Holland S. Kastrin.
Updated March 31, 2017