Soldotna man indicted on tax charges

A Soldotna man was indicted for allegedly filing false tax returns and failing to file a return from 2006 to 2012, according to a release from the office of U.S. District Attorney Karen Loeffler.

James R. Back, 59, was arrested at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport on Monday and arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge John Roberts on Tuesday.

Back did not enter a plea Tuesday and was released under the supervision of the U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services Office on $10,000 bail, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

According to the prosecutors, Back filed false tax returns from 2006 to 2008 and failed to file tax returns from 2009 through 2012. During this time he worked for Alyeska Pipeline Service Company as a pipeline technician. In 2007, he sent the IRS a false Substitute W-2 form, “claiming his wages were not income,” according to the indictment.

The indictment alleges from 2006 to 2008, Back falsely reported to the IRS that he earned no income during those years, when he had earnings that totaled nearly $400,000. Back claimed on his returns that he was owed refunds totaling $110,111.

In 2008, the indictment alleges, he provided a ficticious document entitled “Form W-0” to his employer, that his wages form the company were not “federally privileged.”

Back purposely did not file tax returns from 2009 to 2012, despite earning up to $500,000 during those years, prosecutors say.

If convicted on the seven counts of tax charges, he could face up to 13 years in jail and more than $1 million in fines. Each count of the three false returns carries a maximum of three years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. Each of the four counts of failure to file has a maximum of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.

Special agents with IRS Criminal Investigation are investigating the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Bradley in Anchorage is handling the prosecution.

Back is due in Anchorage District Court Friday to enter a plea and decide on representation. Chief U.S. District Court Judge Ralph Beistline has been assigned to the case for trial, according to the release.

Reach Dan Balmer at daniel.balmer@peninsulaclarion.com.

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