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Blaine couple charged with multiple tax crimes

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ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Revenue announced that the Anoka County Attorney’s Office recently charged Blaine residents Shawn Willard Nelson and Patricia Gilbert Nelson with two felony counts of filing false or fraudulent individual income tax returns, two felony counts of failing to file individual income tax returns, and two felony counts of failing to pay individual income tax.

According to the complaints, the Nelsons filed their 2013 and 2014 state individual income tax returns with false tax information and almost two and three years late.  The complaints state that the Nelsons reported $32,000 in taxable income on their 2013 return and claimed a refund of over $2,500. Department investigators determined that the Nelsons earned more than $347,000 in taxable income in 2013. The complaints allege that the Nelsons reported $17,400 in taxable income on their 2014 return and claimed a refund of over $2,900. Department investigators determined that the Nelsons earned more than $122,600 in taxable income in 2014. The complaints allege that the Nelsons owe more than $32,000 to the state.     

Each tax-related felony charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, a $10,000 fine, or both. Defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Although most taxpayers comply with tax laws voluntarily, the department takes enforcement action against noncompliant taxpayers to ensure that tax laws are administered fairly.

Many of the department’s criminal case referrals come from public tips. There is a 24-hour tip line for anyone who suspects that a person or business is violating Minnesota tax laws. Local callers may dial 651-297-5195 or call toll-free by dialing 1-800-657-3500. Tips can also be submitted to the department by email at tax.fraud@state.mn.us. Tipsters may choose to remain anonymous. 

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Ryan Brown
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