Massachusetts Commercial Fisherman Pleads Guilty to Tax Evasion

He evaded taxes on $1.9 million in income.

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WASHINGTON — A Massachusetts man pleaded guilty Tuesday to evading taxes on income he earned as a commercial fisherman.

According to court documents and statements made in court, John Doe of New Bedford, Massachusetts, worked as a commercial fisherman operating primarily out of the Port of New Bedford. Despite receiving approximately $1.9 million in income between 2012 and 2021, Doe did not file tax returns with the IRS and did not pay taxes on the income he earned. To conceal his earnings from the IRS, Doe cashed his paychecks from fishing companies at check-cashing businesses and then used the cash to fund his personal lifestyle. He also used stolen identities to cash the checks. In total, Doe caused a tax loss to the IRS of approximately $520,415.

Doe is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 1 and faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison. He also faces a period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division made the announcement. IRS-Criminal Investigation is investigating the case. Trial Attorney Ezra Spiro and Assistant Chief John Kane of the Tax Division are prosecuting the case.

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