We talk a LOT about how tax evasion is one of the worst choices you could ever make. It may seem like we’re beating it into your head, but the truth of the matter is that for every time you say, “I don’t evade my taxes; heck, I don’t even fudge them!” there’s someone out there being arrested for doing exactly that. So here are a couple of stories about people who didn’t listen to the warnings.
James Douglas Pielsticker was once the owner of Arrow Trucking, a company based in Oklahoma. His business suddenly closed in 2009, with bankruptcy proceedings showing that his company had close to $90 million in debt. So what happened here? At a trial in February 2015, Pielsticker was charged with tax fraud, tax evasion, and the conspiracy to commit tax fraud; he pled guilty to the latter two. His former vice president, Jonathan Moore, stated that Pielsticker spent at least $160,000 of the company’s money on a portrait of his wife and to build and furnish a baby nursery. The dirty details moved the judge to sentence Pielsticker to 7.5 years in prison.
Meanwhile, in Chicago, 9 liquor store owners were charged with tax evasion after two years were spent investigating their crimes. The defendants were from several different Illinois cities: Des Plaines, Oak Lawn, Tinley Park, South Bend, and Munster were among the throng. Altogether, the defendants managed to skim their sales taxes by a whopping $110,000. Sales tax evasion is a felony separated by classes, so 7 of the group were charged with the Class 1 Felony of tax evasion of more than $100,000, which could net them between 4 and 15 years in prison. 2 of the defendants were charged with sales tax evasion of more than $10,000, a Class 2 Felony that could result in 3-7 years in prison. The verdicts are not available at this time.