Couple fined for avoiding taxes

Posted: Monday, October 19, 2009

ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage couple has been sentenced for avoiding paying federal taxes for over 15 years.

Eugene Warner, 66, was sentenced Friday to more than three years in prison and ordered to pay a $15,000 fine. Lorna Warner, 67, got five years of probation and was ordered to pay $8,000.

They also were ordered to file accurate tax returns from 1991 to the present and pay all their back debts.

U.S. District Court Judge Ralph Beistline called the behavior of the two former public school teachers "bizarre and disgusting."

According to prosecutors, the two tried for years to avoid paying their debts, hid assets and prevented creditors from collecting. They also failed to disclose those assets to the Internal Revenue Service, while also omitting property and bank accounts they owned.

At one point, the couple also falsely claimed that the IRS owed them $1.5 million, prosecutors said.

In 1997, the Warners were convicted of obstructing the IRS for which they were sentenced to 18 months in prison.

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