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Dallas man pleads guilty to obstructing IRS laws

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A Dallas man pleaded guilty today to attempting to obstruct the due administration of the internal revenue laws of the United States, announced Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Prerak Shah.

According to court records, between 2009 and 2017, David Marcus Easler, 58, earned approximately $836,699 in wages. As of January 2019, Mr. Easler had an outstanding tax balance of approximately $326,257. This substantial tax due was a result of his longstanding failure to pay his income taxes dating back to 1996. 

Since at least 2004, the IRS sent several Notices of Levy on Wages to Mr. Easler to collect past due income taxes. When the IRS became aware of his employment with a particular company, the IRS attempted to collect past due income taxes by either withholding taxes from his salary, or by using tax levies and/or garnishment of wages from Mr. Easler’s employer.

In direct response to IRS efforts to collect his past due taxes, Mr. Easler filed four different voluntary petitions for bankruptcy. With some of these bankruptcy filings, Mr. Easler submitted false and fraudulent tax returns and other tax return related documents. For example, as part of his 2009 bankruptcy filing, he submitted several income tax returns that falsely reported that he made “0” dollars of taxable income.

In 2011 and 2013, Mr. Easler signed and filed with the IRS three false U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Returns, Form 1040NR, in which he fraudulently represented that he was a non-resident of the United States living in the foreign country of Texas. In these forms, Mr. Easler also falsely claimed that he was due tax refunds.

From 2012 through 2015, Mr. Easler provided several of his employers with false Employee’s Withholding Certificates, Form W-4, in which he fraudulently inflated the number of exemptions to reduce the amount of income taxes withheld from his paychecks. On some Forms W-4, Mr. Easler falsely claimed he was “exempt” from the withholding of any taxes from his paychecks.

On November 17, 2014, Mr. Easler testified at bankruptcy hearing before a United States Bankruptcy Judge. During the hearing, the Bankruptcy Judge told Mr. Easler that his theory to justify his non-payment of income taxes was “all a big ruse to keep people from paying taxes.” The United States Bankruptcy Judge also told Mr. Easler that his theory amounted to a ”tax evasion system” and said if Mr. Easler continued to refuse to pay his income taxes, “it’s not going to do anything for you in the courts of this country. You’re just wasting your time.”

Even after these warnings, Mr. Easler did not change course and continued his efforts to impede the IRS by filing two additional bankruptcy petitions in 2015 and 2016 to obstruct IRS tax collection efforts.

“Every citizen of this country has a lawful duty to report their taxable income and pay their fair share of taxes: there is no gray area on the subject,” said Mark Pearson, IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge. “Not only did Mr. Easler choose to ignore his duty to pay taxes for over 20 years, he repeatedly attempted to obstruct IRS collection efforts.  Mr. Easler is now a convicted felon. The IRS and Department of Justice remain determined and vigilant in investigating and prosecuting those who willfully refuse to pay taxes on their income and thus undermine the integrity of the U.S. tax system.”

Mr. Easler now faces up to three years in federal prison. His sentencing has been set for August 13, 2021.

IRS Criminal Investigation is conducting the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney David Jarvis is prosecuting the case.

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