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US businessman jailed for concealing Caribbean bank account

Thursday, May 08, 2014 | 8:01 AM    

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WASHINGTON (CMC) -- The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) says an American businessman has been jailed for using a concealed bank account on the Caribbean island of Nevis in a tax evasion scheme.

The DOJ said Robert C Sathre was sentenced on Wednesday to serve 36 months in a US federal prison for tax evasion by US District Judge Alan B Johnson in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Sathre was also ordered to pay more than US$3.1 million in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and to serve three years of supervised release.

The DOJ said Sathre pleaded guilty on February 26, to “willfully evading the payment of his 1995 and 1996 tax liability”.

According to court documents and proceedings, Sathre sold a Minnesota business and received installment payments in 1995 and 1996 of more than three million dollars.

Sathre concealed his income by filing a 1995 tax return in which he reported only US$64,928 in total income, according to the documents.

The documents noted that Sathre then purchased land and set up another business, a gas station and convenience store in Sheridan, Wyoming, known as the Rock Stop.

The court documents and proceedings reveal that Sathre concealed assets by opening a foreign bank account in Nevis and by using purported trusts.

In a 10 month period, spanning from 2005 through 2006, the records show that Sathre sent over US$500,000 to the account in Nevis to keep the funds out of reach from the IRS.

When Sathre sold the Rock Stop in 2007, he wired over US$1,250,000 from the sale proceeds to the trust account of a Wyoming law firm, according to the court records.

He later directed the law firm to wire US$900,000 from the trust account to his account at the Bank of Nevis, the documents reveal.

They say Sathre also provided a false declaration and false promissory note to the Bank of Nevis to conceal the source of this transfer and obtained a debit card linked to the foreign account to access funds locally.

In addition, the court document and proceedings indicate that Sathre provided the Bank of Sheridan with an IRS form on which he falsely claimed that he was neither a citizen nor a resident of the United States.

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