FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 8, 2014
For More Information, contact:
Joy Patterson (334) 242-7491
Alabama Attorney General
Claire Haynes (334) 242-7351
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AG, REVENUE COMMISSIONER ANNOUNCE CONVICTION
OF MOBILE POLICE OFFICER FOR INCOME TAX EVASION
(MONTGOMERY) – Attorney General Luther Strange and State Revenue
Commissioner Julie P. Magee announced the conviction of Mobile police officer Donald
Pears, 61, for state income tax evasion and filing a false Alabama individual income tax
return under penalties of perjury.
The Attorney General’s Special Prosecutions Division partnered with the
Alabama Department of Revenue, a member of the Attorney General’s Special
Prosecutions Alliance, in investigating this case. The Attorney General’s Office
presented evidence to a Mobile County grand jury on December 9, 2013, resulting in
Pears pleaded guilty before Mobile County Circuit Judge Charles A. Graddick to
one count of willful attempt to evade or defeat 2007 state income taxes and one count of
willfully filing a fraudulent 2007 state income tax return.
Pears faces a potential penalty of five years imprisonment and a $100,000 fine for
income tax evasion, and three years imprisonment and a fine of $100,000 for filing a
perjured false and fraudulent income tax return. Sentencing is scheduled for June 19, 2014.
Pears attempted to evade paying state income taxes by falsely claiming he was
exempt from income tax withholding. He claimed exempt status and had zero tax
withholding from his paycheck for multiple years. When he did file an income tax
return, it was a false and fraudulent return submitted under penalty of perjury because
he failed to report significant income.
“I am proud of the accomplishments of the Special Prosecutions Alliance and of
the partnership we have with the Department of Revenue in investigations and
prosecutions such as this,” said Attorney General Strange. “Misrepresenting one’s
status or income to avoid paying taxes is a serious crime, and our message is that we
will vigorously investigate and prosecute these cases.”
501 Washington Avenue * Montgomery, AL 36104 * (334) 242-7300
www.ago.state.al.us Page 2 of 2
“This is the first of many more cases being investigated by the ADOR involving
Alabamians who have fraudulently evaded income taxes by having no tax withheld
from their paychecks when they should, and then either filing fraudulent returns or not
filing Alabama income tax returns at all,” said Commissioner Magee.
“Our means of detecting such fraudulent activities are improving greatly as we
implement more and more discovery measures offered through our information
technology capabilities, and, as we do so, we are finding a large area of non-compliance
in Alabama’s withholding tax laws, ranging from public to private sector employment,”
explained Commissioner Magee.
Attorney General Strange commended Assistant Attorney General Bill Lisenby
of his Special Prosecutions Division for his excellent work in this case. He also thanked
Alabama Revenue Commissioner Julie P. Magee, Assistant Attorney General and
Assistant Counsel Glen Powers and agents of the Alabama Department of Revenue for
their successful handling of the case.