Shippensburg area developer Troy A. Beam was sentenced Tuesday to 74 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Christopher C. Conner, according to the United States Department of Justice website.
Prosecutors had sought a prison sentence of up to 12 years, claiming Beam's crime had cost the U.S. government $4.5 million in tax losses.
"Convictions such as this send a loud and clear message that those who defy our nation's tax laws will be investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," said Kathryn M. Keneally, Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department's Tax Division.
"The evidence showed beyond a reasonable doubt that Troy Beam is a consummate fraud and hypocrite who evaded his responsibilities as a citizen while participating in a charade to deceive the government, other citizens and himself for his own selfish ends," said Peter J. Smith, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.
Beam's attorney was asking the court to consider a sentence of time served, plus three to five years of probation and at least 500 hours of community service.
In May, a federal jury in the Middle District of Pennsylvania convicted Beam of tax evasion, obstructing and impeding the due administration of the Internal Revenue laws, and willful failure to file federal income tax returns.
Beam operates a home construction business, Sunbeam Builders, and two real estate businesses, Latrobe Leasing and Goldstar Property Management. A federal indictment alleged that Beam has not filed a federal income tax return or paid taxes since 1996.
According to evidence introduced at trial, Beam, a former certified public accountant and state auditor in the Pennsylvania Auditor General’s Office, earned substantial sums of income from 1992 to the date of the indictment while operating a home construction business known as “Sunbeam Builders,” as well as owning and operating two real estate businesses known as “Latrobe Leasing” and “Goldstar Property Management” that purchased, rented and sold real estate, a press release states on the Department of Justice website.
Despite earning substantial income from these businesses, as well as other activities, Beam failed to file any federal income tax returns since April 1996, when he filed his 1995 tax return reporting a loss, the press release said. In April 1996, Beam also filed false amended federal income tax returns for 1992, 1993 and 1994, seeking tax refunds for taxes he previously had paid for those years.
"The use of abusive trust schemes and sham entities intended to conceal income from the IRS isn't tax planning; it’s criminal activity,” said Rick A. Raven, Acting Chief, IRS Criminal Investigation. “As the tax filing season comes to a close, it’s more important than ever that the American people feel confident that everyone is paying the taxes they owe."