DENVER – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Bill Leone, United States…

DENVER – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Bill Leone, United States Attorney for the District of Colorado, and Terry L. Stuart, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) -Criminal Investigation, announced that GEORGE S. GRADOW, age 65, of Aspen, Colorado, pled guilty this morning to obstructing the Internal Revenue Service while they were conducting an audit. The guilty plea was entered before U.S. District Court Judge Wiley Y. Daniel. GRADOW is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Daniel on December 19, 2005 at 1:30 p.m. GRADOW had previously waived his right to indictment by a federal grand jury, and was charged by Criminal Information on June 6, 2005.

According to the facts alleged in the Plea Agreement and the Criminal Information, on August 21, 2000 and continuing up until March 14, 2001, GRADOW allegedly obstructed and impeded the Internal Revenue Service by destroying, altering and/or creating documents and directing corporate employees to destroy, alter, and/or fabricate documents that would be used by an IRS Revenue Agent during an audit or examination of the federal income tax returns of the defendant’s solely owned corporation. Specifically, GRADOW instructed the Chief Financial Officer of his corporation, the Churchill Group, to forward to him original promissory notes and real estate leases. Upon receipt, he altered the interest rates and due dates on the promissory notes and changed the terms of the leases. He then destroyed the original notes and leases, knowing the altered documents would be reviewed and relied upon by the IRS.

Corruptly obstructing the administration of the internal revenue laws carries a penalty of up to 3 years in federal prison, and/or a $5,000 fine. The actual sentence will be determined by U.S. District Court Judge Wiley Y. Daniel.

This investigation was conducted by special agents of the IRS-Criminal Investigation, and Revenue Agents from the IRS-Large and Midsize Division, Grand Junction, Colorado. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert Mydans and Department of Justice Tax Division trial attorney Caryn Mark.

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