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Justice News

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

Monday, August 5, 2013

Former Bellevue Developer Indicted for Tax Evasion and Social Security Fraud

Spent Millions On Lavish Lifestyle While Refusing To Pay More Than $500,000 In Negotiated Tax Payment

            A former Bellevue based developer and lender who spent millions on gambling, thoroughbred horse racing, private aircraft, country club fees and a Bellevue penthouse, has been indicted for tax evasion and social security number fraud.  THOMAS R. HAZELRIGG, III, 67, of Rancho Mirage, California, will appear in U.S. District Court in Seattle today at 1:30 following his indictment for two counts of evading and defeating payment of tax, and two counts of Social Security number misuse.

            The detailed indictment, returned by the grand jury last week, describes how HAZELRIGG first agreed to pay $533,454 in taxes owed for tax years 1989, 1990 and 1991 and then failed to pay the tax debt while living a lavish lifestyle that included private jets, multi-million dollar remodels, expensive artwork and high roller casino junkets.  The Indictment also alleges that HAZELRIGG evaded payment of his taxes owed for 1994, for which he had filed a return showing tax owed, but for which he made no payments.  The indictment alleges that between 1997 and 2007, HAZELRIGG illegally funneled income from his businesses into accounts that he controlled but that which he kept secret from the IRS and other creditors. HAZELRIGG used these accounts to pay for the multimillion dollar purchase and remodel of a Bellevue penthouse, two Chihuly glass chandeliers worth more than $460,000, more than one million dollars in chips at various casinos, country club memberships for himself and associates, the leasing of private jets, the use of a butler, and more than $160,000 on race horses.

            The two counts of Social Security number misuse relate to HAZLERIGG opening bank accounts in 2009, using the Social Security number of his deceased father.  HAZELRIGG allegedly used the number to hide the resources from the IRS.

            The tax evasion counts are punishable by up to five years in prison.  The misuse of Social Security number counts are also punishable by up to five years in prison.

            The charges contained in the indictment are only allegations.  A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI).

            The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Susan Loitz and Robert Westinghouse.

Updated March 23, 2015