Former Owner of Indoor Soccer Team Indicted for Massive Tax Fraud
Submitted False Documents Claiming Huge Income and Withholding and Obtained more than $1Million in Tax Refunds
A former Seattle college soccer star, currently jailed on sexual assault charges in Arizona, was indicted April 4, 2018, by a federal grand jury for a massive tax fraud scheme, announced U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. During the course of the scheme, 46-year old DION L. EARL purchased the Seattle Impact FC franchise, a professional indoor soccer club. The indictment alleges that between 2008 and 2014, EARL used false documents to lie about his income, the amount of tax dollars withheld by employers, and his mortgage deductions, so that he could claim tax refunds of more than $1.1 million. Because EARL currently faces sexual assault charges in Arizona, his arraignment on the indictment has not been scheduled.
In the 1990’s EARL was a soccer star at Seattle Pacific University. According to the indictment, between 2008 and 2014 EARL claimed to be making huge salaries working for car dealers in the Puget Sound region, and as the owner/operator of Dion Earl’s Total Soccer & Tennis Camps, LLC, d/b/a Total Business Ventures. For example, the indictment alleges that in 2012, EARL claimed on his 2011 Form 1040 tax return that he made $880,000 working for five different car dealers. EARL claimed the dealers withheld more than $330,000 of his wages for taxes. EARL then falsely claimed mortgage interest payments on four different properties, reducing his ‘tax liability.’ With the scheme, EARL obtained a tax refund of $329,198. In fact, EARL made less than $80,000 that year, had no tax payments withheld, and paid limited mortgage interest.
The Indictment further alleges that even after the IRS began a civil audit on EARL, he continued to make false claims and provided false information to the IRS. As late as 2015, EARL claimed he and his wife made $765,000 from Dion Earl’s Total Soccer & Tennis Camps, LLC, d/b/a Total Business Ventures, and the Seattle Impact FC. EARL claimed $180,000 was withheld and attempted to get a tax refund of $137,554. That refund was not paid. In all EARL sought $1.6 million in fraudulent tax refunds, and was paid approximately $1.1 million.
EARL is also charged in connection with false income information he submitted to Key Bank in 2008 to qualify for a home equity line of credit.
The five-count indictment charges EARL with three counts of false statement on tax returns, corrupt endeavor to impede administration of the Internal Revenue laws, and false statement on a loan application.
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.
If convicted EARL faces up to ten years in prison.
The case is being investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Arlen Storm.