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Press Release

Oregon Couple Sentenced to Prison for Tax Crimes

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Oregon
Long Term Tax Protesters Fled Oregon After Being Convicted at Trial

EUGENE, Ore. – Billy J. Williams, Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon, announced that a Coos County couple was sentenced yesterday to federal prison for tax crimes they were convicted of in October 2014.

Ronald Joling, 72, and Dorothea Joling, 73, both of Coquille, Oregon, were found guilty of conspiracy to defraud the United States by obstructing the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in its attempt to collect a substantial tax debt owed by the Jolings.  Ronald Joling was additionally convicted of tax evasion and filing false income tax returns.

Evidence at trial detailed the Jolings’ illegal efforts over close to twenty years to keep the IRS and the Oregon Department of Revenue from collecting almost $2 million they owed in back taxes, penalties and interest.  The Jolings’ efforts to thwart the IRS included their use of sham trusts, a corporation sole, bank accounts in the names of nominees, a warehouse bank, bogus money orders, bills of exchange, bonds, and filing false tax returns with the IRS.  When those efforts failed, the Jolings resorted to intimidation tactics and threats.  Witnesses testified at trial that in response to attempts to collect taxes owed, the Jolings threatened them with arrest, criminal prosecution and lawsuits.  In one instance, the Jolings took out a newspaper advertisement in the Coquille Valley Sentinel accusing a local government employee of malfeasance just for performing her job.  The Jolings also filed retaliatory bogus liens against federal judges, the federal court clerk’s office, and federal prosecutors who were involved in the criminal case. A federal grand jury has indicted the Jolings for filing these liens and that separate criminal case is pending.

Rather than pay their taxes, the Jolings spent about $750,000 on a motel and restaurant in Coquille and tracts of land in Linn County.  They attempted to conceal their interest in these properties from the IRS by placing them in sham trusts.

After the Jolings were convicted at trial in October 2014, Chief U. S. Judge Ann Aiken ordered them to return to court in April 2015 for sentencing. The Jolings refused and instead fled Oregon. Arrest warrants were issued, and in October 2015 the United States Marshals Service located and apprehended the Jolings in Clarkdale, Arizona.

At yesterday’s hearing Judge Aiken ordered Ronald Joling to serve 97 months and Dorothea Joling to serve 48 months in prison.  Each defendant must also pay more than $1.2 million to the IRS in outstanding federal taxes.

Acting U.S. Attorney Williams noted, “This is an egregious case.  Not only did the Jolings refuse to pay their fair share of taxes like the rest of us, they retaliated against federal employees who were just doing their jobs.  After a jury convicted them at trial, they cowardly refused to show up for sentencing and fled the state.  They were fugitives for six months, requiring additional resources to locate and arrest them in Arizona.  They are now in custody and will serve their appropriately lengthy sentences.”

This case was investigated by the IRS, Criminal Investigation, with assistance from the U.S. Marshal’s Service.  It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Scott E. Bradford and Chris Cardani.

Updated February 4, 2016