Paradise Valley man sentenced to 9 years in prison for $50M tax fraud scheme

Jun 14, 2023, 1:24 PM

Stock image of a prison cell. Charles St. George Kirkland, a Paradise Valley man who pleaded guilty...

(Pexels Photo)

(Pexels Photo)

PHOENIX – A Paradise Valley man who pleaded guilty to a $50 million tax fraud scheme was sentenced to nine years in prison on Monday, authorities said.

Charles St. George Kirkland, 57, also was fined $1 million during his sentencing hearing in U.S. District Court in Seattle, the Department of Justice announced.

“This is a significant sentence, and an example of the price to be paid for such dishonesty and deceit,” U.S. Attorney Nick Brown said in a press release.

Kirkland pleaded guilty in January to three counts of aiding or assisting the filing of fraudulent tax documents. Under the plea agreement, he owes more than $51 million in restitution.

Kirkland and his wife began a divorce proceeding two days after he pleaded guilty, agreeing the wife would take ownership of real estate, cars and the couple’s 10,000-square-foot Arizona home. The government is pursuing the assets to satisfy Kirkland’s restitution obligation, prosecutors said.

As part of his scheme, Kirkland submitted tax filings falsely claiming he lost more than $135 million investing in solar equipment, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Washington.

He then “sold” the losses to a network of tax preparers to list as losses on their clients’ returns, charging the taxpayers 90% of the fraudulent refunds they obtained using the fake losses.

Kirkland collected $45 million through the scheme, which cost the U.S. Treasury more than $50 million.

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Paradise Valley man sentenced to 9 years in prison for $50M tax fraud scheme