DENVER – LAWFUEL – Law News, Law Jobs – Troy A. Eid, U.S. Attorney for the District of Colorado, announced today that U.S. District Court Judge Robert E. Blackburn for the District of Colorado found the promoter of a fraudulent tax avoidance program, Austin Gary Cooper, formerly of Fort Collins, Colorado, guilty of criminal contempt. Judge Blackburn sentenced Austin Gary Cooper to six months of imprisonment following his conviction.
Austin Gary Cooper and his wife, Martha E. Cooper, had been charged with one count of criminal contempt, for violating a permanent injunction order related to their sale and promotion of the fraudulent tax avoidance program in May of 2006. Martha E. Cooper failed to appear for her initial appearance and remains a fugitive from Justice.
The evidence at trial showed that on November 19, 2003, Chief U.S. District Court Judge Lewis T. Babcock in Denver, CO, ordered the Coopers and their organization, Taking Back America, to stop promoting the tax avoidance program, to provide the United States with a complete customer list of the individuals who had purchased it, advise their clients of the injunction order, and post the order on the various websites controlled by the Coopers, including www.paral.org and www.tenfoundation.com.
Evidence at trial established that Austin Gary Cooper failed to comply with the injunction order. The government also introduced evidence that the Austin Gary Cooper was read the order in open court and that the U.S. District Court in Denver, CO gave Austin Gary Cooper repeated opportunities to comply with the permanent injunction order.
Evidence supporting the government’s injunction request established that the Coopers were promoting and selling a so-called expatriation/repatriation package that purported to exempt participants from the nation’s tax laws. The Coopers sold the package for up to $1,600 to as many as 2,000 individuals nationwide, according to papers filed by the Justice Department in the injunction case. The evidence also indicated that the Coopers knew that the expatriation/repatriation package they were selling would not exempt individuals from the nation’s tax laws as they fraudulently claimed. Information about the permanent injunction can be found at http://www.usdoj.gov/tax/txdv03301.htm , http://www.usdoj.gov/tax/txdv03361.htm , http://10.173.2.10/tax/txdv03641.htm and http://10.173.2.10/tax/txdv03601.htm
The case was investigated by Special Agent Anthony Romero of the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations. The case was prosecuted by Department of Justice Tax Division Trial Attorney Jed Dwyer.