A Rhode Island man was sentenced to three years in prison today for tax evasion, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division, U.S. Attorney Aaron L. Weisman for the District of Rhode Island, and Special Agent in Charge Kristina O’Connell of IRS Criminal Investigation.
According to court documents, for more than ten years, Billie R. Schofield attempted to evade his federal income taxes. Schofield partly owned and worked for Northern Pelagic LLC, a seafood processing business located in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Despite earning hundreds of thousands of dollars in income, Schofield failed to pay taxes owed and, beginning in 2009, stopped filing income tax returns. Between 2008 and 2018, Schofield obstructed IRS efforts to assess and collect his taxes by filing fraudulent forms, advancing frivolous tax arguments, creating and using a nominee entity and bank account, negotiating income checks to cash, and creating and submitting fraudulent checks to the IRS in an attempt to extinguish his tax liabilities. Including penalties and interest, Schofield caused a tax loss of more than $350,000 to the United States.
In addition to a term of imprisonment, U.S. District Judge William E. Smith sentenced Schofield to three years of supervised release, a $5,000 fine, and ordered him to pay $364,200.22 in restitution to the IRS.
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman and U.S. Attorney Weisman commended special agents of IRS-CI, who investigated the case, and Trial Attorney Christopher P. O’Donnell of the Tax Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandra Hebert, who prosecuted the case.
Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the Division’s website.