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Justice News

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

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Motivational Speaker Sentenced For Failing To File Income Tax Returns

MADISON, WIS. -- John W. Vaudreuil, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Eric Plantenberg, 42, Bend, Ore., was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Lynn S. Adelman to one year and one day in federal prison for repeatedly and willfully failing to file income tax returns. 

On April 15, 2014, Plantenberg pleaded guilty to three counts of failing to file income tax returns for the tax years 2006 through 2008.  In connection with his guilty plea, Plantenberg admitted that during the relevant period, he earned more than $1.3 million as an owner and president of three Madison, Wis.-based self-help companies -- Freedom Personal Development, Freedom Professional Services, and I-Kinetic.    

Judge Adelman rejected Plantenberg’s request for a probationary sentence, observing that Plantenberg was motivated by greed and that he stole from the public in failing to pay $367,589 in federal taxes.  Judge Adelman stated that a prison sentence was required to send a “strong deterrent message” to those who would consider cheating on their taxes. 

The charges against Plantenberg were the result of an investigation conducted by IRS Criminal Investigation.  The prosecution of the case has been handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy M. O’Shea. 

Updated July 14, 2015