A federal jury deliberated only 15 minutes late Monday afternoon before convicting James Michael Long on four counts of willful failure to file an income tax return, announced U.S. Attorney Richard B. Roper of the Northern District of Texas. Long, who according to the Information filed in the case is a resident of Plainview, Texas, faces a maximum statutory sentence of four years in prison and a $400,000 fine. The one-day trial was held before U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings; a sentencing date has not yet been set.
According to court documents, Long was arrested in May on the charges and was detained pending further proceedings because, as U.S. Magistrate Judge Charles Bleil noted in a written order of detention, the defendant "refused to talk with probation officers about his background, employment, address or any pertinent information. Additionally, he refused to complete a financial affidavit. The defendant was also bizarre in his conduct, seemed irrational, and expressed a lack of recognition of any authority over him." Long was eventually released on bond in early September.
During trial, the government presented evidence that during tax years 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004, Long received income from several sources, including Dallas Auto Auction, ADESA Texas and affiliates, Assister and Associates, Caison Auction Service, Greater Nevada Auto Auction, John Sisk Auctioneering, Ward Brothers Tractor Co., and DFW Auto Auction. His income was $65,447.47 for 2001; $72,714 for 2002; $188,485 for 2003; and $135,177.60 for 2004. His income was well above the minimum amounts required to file an income tax return for each of the respective years.
"During difficult economic times such as these, it is critical that American taxpayers feel confident that everyone is paying their fair share of taxes. Part of our mission is to vigorously enforce the tax laws to instill that confidence," said Michael P. Lahey, Special Agent in Charge of IRS-Criminal Investigation, Dallas Field Office.
U. S. Attorney Roper praised the investigative efforts of the IRS - Criminal Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ann C. Roberts and Jeffrey R. Haag of the Lubbock, Texas, U.S. Attorney's Office.
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