Plaster Man Sentenced to Jail for Tax Evasion After Claiming to Donate $ 250,000 to Fictitious Church | Crime and Justice


A gypsum business owner who ordained himself to pastor an invented church in an attempt to hide $ 250,000 from federal tax authorities will spend a year and a day in jail, officials said.

Trenton Switzer, 40, was sentenced in federal court Thursday by U.S. District Court judge Christine Arguello. In addition to his 366 days in jail, Switzer will have to pay $ 241,964.71 in restitution, according to the statement from the Colorado district attorney’s office.

“Mr. Switzer’s claim to be the pastor of a bogus church he set up to evade his taxes has taken him to a real prison,” Acting US Attorney Matt Kirsch said. “My office will continue to aggressively prosecute people who cheat on their taxes. “

According to the statement, Switzer owned a sales training business that generated “significant income,” but in an attempt to avoid taxes, he claimed to have donated $ 250,000 to “the Church of Divine Sovereignty. ” in 2015.

Switzer formed the church to evade taxes and opened a bank account in his name. Less than 24 hours after his incorporation, he filed documents dissolving the invented church, authorities said.

Eventually, Switzer deposited the $ 250,000 into the church’s bank account and used it to buy Bitcoin, the statement said.

When preparing his 2015 tax return, Switzer provided his tax return with a letter signed by himself as pastor of the “Church of Divine Sovereignty”.

The preparer warned Switzer that an invented church was not considered a charity and that the alleged payment could not be deducted.

Despite the warning, Switzer personally signed and filed his 2015 federal tax return and falsely claimed a charitable deduction of $ 250,000, according to the release.

“Trenton Switzer’s creation of a non-profit church to generate false charitable deductions is not just a crime, but an insult to all taxpaying citizens who pay their fair share of taxes,” said Andy Tsui , IRS Special Agent for Criminal Investigations.

“IRS-CI special agents will always devote the necessary resources to bring to justice those who fail to meet their civic obligation to file truthful and accurate tax returns.”

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