Tax Commission News Release
Two people sentenced for tax fraud conspiracy
BOISE, IDAHO — Oct. 2, 2018 — A Mountain Home man got 30 days in jail and a suspended sentence of up to five years in prison after pleading guilty in July for conspiring to commit state tax fraud.
Robert Payne’s co-conspirator, Chelsea Peutz of Mountain Home, got a suspended prison sentence of up to three years at her September sentencing in Elmore County District Court for helping Payne evade state income tax.
The pair pleaded guilty to a scheme that involved Payne claiming Peutz’s children as dependents on his 2016 income tax return to get a bigger refund, which he shared with Peutz. Peutz didn’t file her 2016 income taxes to avoid having her refund seized to pay a debt.
In addition to jail time and the suspended prison sentence, Payne will have to serve 100 hours of community service and pay $127 in restitution. He also will be on probation for five years and must file state and federal income tax returns during his probationary period.
Peutz also must file state and federal income tax returns throughout her three years of probation.
“People who conspire to cheat on their taxes are committing a felony,” Idaho State Tax Commission Chairman Ken Roberts said. “We will keep working with county prosecutors and others to pursue those who break the law to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.”
Tax fraud involves doing something to evade paying taxes, such as filing a false document, filing a false tax return or underreporting income. It also includes filing a tax return under someone else’s name to get a refund.
The Tax Commission finds tax fraud from routinely analyzing tax returns and conducting tax audits, as well as from tips from law enforcement, other state agencies and the public.
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