DENVER (AP) — Douglas Bruce, Colorado’s best known tax opponent, was convicted of tax evasion on Wednesday following a trial he said was politically motivated.
After listening to eight days of testimony, jurors deliberated for less than four hours before returning a guilty verdict Bruce. They convicted him on all counts — evading state taxes, filing a false return, attempting to influence a public servant and failing to file a return between 2005 and 2010.
The state said he hid millions of dollars in a sham charity set up to avoid taxes.
He faces up to 12 years in prison when he’s sentenced on Feb. 13.
The government said Bruce’s nonprofit, called Active Citizens Together, was set up for the sole purpose of hiding his income funding his anti-government activism.
Bruce, a former state lawmaker and the father of Colorado’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, said state officials went after him for promoting smaller government.
During the trial, Colorado Assistant Attorney General Robert Shapiro said Bruce shuffled millions into accounts he controlled for ACT and then collected interest on that money without paying taxes on it.
Shapiro also argued that the ACT nonprofit spent some 95 percent of its money on lobbying, which would far exceed the limit for a group that seeks to avoid taxes. ACT earned some $178,000 in interest on Bruce’s donations between 2005 and 2007. Bruce scoffed at Shapiro’s suggestion that he should’ve paid taxes on that interest.
“He doesn’t understand the concept of a charitable donation,” Bruce told reporters at the time.
Bruce told the Gazette (http://bit.ly/uGI0N4 ) he would appeal his conviction but declined further comment.
LINK: Read The Indictment
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