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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Virginia

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Virginia Electrician Sentenced for Obstructing Administration on IRS Laws

LYNCHBURG, VIRGINIA – A Cumberland, Virginia resident, who previously pled guilty to one count of corruptly endeavoring to impair and impede the due administration of the internal revenue laws, was sentenced today in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Lychburg, announced United States Attorney John P. Fishwick Jr.

Richard Alex, 52, of Cumberland, Va., a self-employed low-voltage electrician, admitted that he did not file a timely or valid tax return for more than a decade.  For tax years 1998 and 2000 through 2003, Alex filed a tax return on which he falsely claimed that he had not earned any income.  Alex failed to file any tax returns for the 2004 through 2013 tax years, despite receiving income above the filing threshold each year, as well as numerous warnings and notices from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Today in U.S. District Court in Lynchburg, Alex was sentenced to one year of supervised release and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $809,707.

“It is our duty to ensure that all citizens pay their fair share of taxes,” United States Attorney Fishwick said today. “We will continue to work with our partners at the Tax Division and the IRS to hold accountable those who attempt to defraud our tax system.”

According to court documents, Alex attempted to conceal his assets and income to prevent the IRS from collecting his unpaid taxes.  Starting in 2004, Alex used bank accounts held in the names of nominees to receive income he earned from dispatch companies for subcontract work.  Alex also provided false information to a tax return preparer for the purpose of preparing federal tax returns for Alex’s nominee business, Cole Data Services.

Alex’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for Oct. 5.  He faces a statutory maximum sentence of three years in prison.  Alex also faces financial penalties and a term of supervised release.

The investigation of the case was conducted by Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney C. Patrick Hogeboom III and Trial Attorney Sean Beaty of the Tax Division prosecuted the case for the United States.

Updated December 1, 2016