DJ, a 45-year-old commercial fisherman, willfully avoided paying taxes for 12 years. In federal court he was charged with 6 counts of Tax Evasion and 3 counts of Failure to File Tax Returns. DJ was also suspected of using several fake identities in the course of his fishing career.

A plea bargain was struck - the government would dismiss all but one count of Tax Evasion and all counts of Failure to File. Also, the government would not prosecute DJ for Identity fraud. In exchange, DJ agreed to plead guilty to one count of Tax Evasion and would pay back the money owed over time. Sentencing was left up to the Judge. At the sentencing hearing, DJ was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison. With earned good time, DJ will serve 85% of the sentence.

Note: While "Tax Evasion" is illegal, "Tax Avoidance" is not. IRS regulations permit taxpayers to claim certain deductions, credits, and adjustments to income. However, a person, or company's complete failure to pay taxes and/or file tax returns will invite unpleasant scrutiny from the IRS, and possibly, criminal charges.