A Washington telecommunications executive faces a lengthy prison term if the government is successful in its attempts to prosecute him for failing to pay nearly $210 million in taxes, Dow Jones Newswires reported.
In the largest individual criminal tax case in U.S. history, Walter Anderson, 51, was charged Wednesday on a 12-count sealed indictment handed down by a federal grand jury.
The District of Columbia resident allegedly used numerous corporations to hide earnings totaling nearly $450 million, evading federal and District taxes. He was arrested Saturday as he arrived at Washington Dulles International Airport on a flight from London, Dow Jones reported.
He was scheduled to appear late yesterday before a U.S. magistrate judge, Kenneth Wainstein, U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, told Dow Jones.
In the indictment, the government alleges that Anderson used investments and offshore operations to hide the fact that he had personally earned close to $450 million. The indictment also states that Anderson purchased numerous valuable items between 1997 and 2000 and shipped them to nearby Virginia so he would not have to pay District use taxes.
Wainstein indicated that the $210 million he owes in taxes amounts to $170 million in federal income tax due to the Internal Revenue Service and another $40 million owed to the District.
"This is the largest individual criminal tax proceeding in U.S. history," IRS Commissioner Mark Everson said. He added that Anderson was probably "operating on his own."
The indictment said Anderson "refused to cooperate with the IRS in its efforts to audit, assess and collect the taxes he owed for 1987 through 1993."
Wainstein said Anderson "completely failed to file annual tax returns" for those years. The indictment encompasses a broad period between January 1987 and 2002 and alleges during this time that Anderson "corruptly obstructed and impeded" IRS auditors and investigators, Dow Jones reported.