RICHMOND, Va. – Wheeling attorney Paul J. Harris has been indicted by a federal grand jury on tax evasion charges.

Harris, 44, was indicted last week on one count of tax evasion for the years 1995-2000 and 2002, and four counts of making and subscribing a false tax return for the years 1997-2000. Chuck Rosenberg, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Charles Pine, Special Agent-in-Charge, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, announced that the indictment was returned April 4 in United States District Court.

According to the indictment, from 1998 through 2002, Harris was an attorney and a resident of Glen Allen, Va., who received income from his law practice and various business ventures. The indictment alleges that Harris filed income tax returns for the years 1995-2000 and 2002 that resulted in an assessed liability of $96,823.58, plus penalties and interest.

The indictment also says Harris made no payments on this tax liability until June 2004, and that prior to making his payments he undertook a number of acts to conceal his ability to pay, including titling assets in others' names and filing false income tax returns for the years 1997-2000. The indictment alleges that Harris understated his business receipts on these four false returns.

The tax evasion count carries a potential penalty of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, three years of supervised release and restitution. The four false tax return counts each carry a potential penalty of three years in prison, a $250,000 fine, one year of supervised release and restitution.

The case was investigated by the IRS' Criminal Investigative Division. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Timothy D. Belevetz and Brian J. Samuels are prosecuting the case.

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