Tax agency accuses economist of 22-year scam

NEW YORK Mon Apr 16, 2012 6:11pm EDT

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Federal prosecutors on Monday accused a man of avoiding $500,000 in taxes for 22 years through a variety of measures, including refusing to give employers his social security number and setting up finance companies to collect his pay for him.

David Gilmartin of Phelan, California, was charged with obstruction of the Internal Revenue Service, failure to file a tax return and failure to pay taxes.

A statement from the Office of the Attorney for the Southern District of New York included several references to Gilmartin's education, emphasizing he holds a PhD. in economics.

The indictment described Gilmartin's line of work as consulting for pharmaceutical companies and credit card companies, but it did not name the companies for which he had worked. It also did not list the schools Gilmartin attended in pursuit of his economics degrees.

Gilmartin's lawyer, Larry BeCraft, declined to comment on the case when reached by telephone.

Gilmartin's case will not be BeCraft's first battle against the IRS. Last month BeCraft was billed as one of the instructors in a class on "avoiding and defeating IRS criminal charges" at a conference hosted at an Irvine, California hotel by the Freedom Law School. The conference ended with a campaign event for Republican Presidential candidate Ron Paul.

The charges come during the height of America's tax season, a scramble to meet the traditional April 15 deadline for filing and paying yearly income taxes in the United States.

(Reporting By Emily Flitter)

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