A federal grand jury sitting in Providence returned an indictment charging a Rhode Island man with corruptly endeavoring to impede the internal revenue laws, tax evasion, and perjury, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Stephen G. Dambruch for the District of Rhode Island.
According to the indictment, from 2005 through 2016, Billie Schofield worked for local fishing companies and earned hundreds of thousands of dollars in income. The indictment alleges that Schofield obstructed the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) efforts to collect and assess his unpaid taxes by filing false income tax returns, preventing the delivery of IRS levy notices to his employer, and sending bogus checks to the IRS in a fraudulent attempt to pay off an IRS lien placed on his property.
Additionally, the indictment alleges that from 2005 to 2016 Schofield evaded the payment and assessment of his personal tax liabilities by using nominees to hide his personal income, and in February 2018 Schofield gave false testimony before a federal grand jury in response to questions about checks that were drawn on a closed bank account that he submitted to the IRS.
If convicted, Schofield faces a statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison on the tax evasion and perjury charges, as well as three years in prison for obstructing the internal revenue laws. He also faces a period of supervised release, restitution, and monetary penalties.
An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman and U.S. Attorney Dambruch thanked special agents of IRS Criminal Investigation and the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, who investigated the case, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandra Hebert and Tax Division Trial Attorney Christopher O’Donnell, who are prosecuting the case.