John Kroger (D)
SALEM, Ore. (Legal Newsline)-A conservative anti-tax activist who plans to run for Oregon governor next year faces tax evasion charges, state Attorney General John Kroger said Monday.
Kroger said in a statement that Bill and Cindy Sizemore didn't file returns for the 2006, 2007 and 2008 tax years. A grand jury has indicted the couple on three counts of Oregon personal income tax evasion, officials said.
The indictment was issued last month and unsealed Nov. 19, the same day the state's tax amnesty period ended. The couple did not take part in the program, the Oregon Department of Revenue said.
The program afforded taxpayers to file or amend tax returns in exchange for a waiver of civil penalties and partial interest.
Each count of personal tax evasion, a Class C felony, carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $125,000 fine.
Bill Sizemore admitted to failing to file the tax returns while under oath in a civil case last year brought against him by teachers' unions. He filed paperwork to run for the state's Republican gubernatorial nomination last Monday.
"It is a written policy that any allegations of criminal wrongdoing unearthed during a Department of Justice civil investigation be referred to the department's Criminal Justice Division for possible prosecution," said Sean Riddell, head of the AG's Criminal Justice Division. "We cannot ignore evidence of criminal conduct. We were obligated to follow up on evidence of tax evasion that arose during the civil case."
From Legal Newsline: Reach staff reporter Chris Rizo at firstname.lastname@example.org.