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Press Release

Former Santa Fe Engineer Sentenced to Federal Prison for Obstructing IRS and Filing False Tax Returns

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico
Defendant Also Ordered to Pay $174,196 in Restitution to IRS

ALBUQUERQUE – Darryl J. Gutierrez, 62, of Santa Fe, N.M., was sentenced today in federal court to 33 months in prison followed by one year of supervised release for violating the federal tax laws by obstructing and impeding the administration of the internal revenue laws and filing false tax returns. Gutierrez was also ordered to pay $174,196 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), a $15,000 fine and a $1,100 special penalty assessment.


Gutierrez was indicted on Nov. 5, 2015, and was 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.


Gutierrez proceeded to trial on the eleven-count indictment on March 27, 2017, and concluded March 30, 2017, 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 to $115,000 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.


This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of IRS Criminal Investigation, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Margaret Vierbuchen and Holland S. Kastrin.

Updated September 19, 2017