A California man pleaded guilty yesterday, in three separate cases, to failing to appear at his sentencing, attempting to evade the assessment of income tax and wire fraud.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Robin J. McPherson, formerly of San Diego, failed to appear for his sentencing in March 2001 following a December 2000 bench trial convicting him and two co-defendants of conspiring to defraud the IRS and collectively evading over $1 million in income taxes for tax years 1993 and 1994.
While a fugitive, McPherson was indicted for attempting to evade income taxes due on income he received in 1999 and 2000 from individuals who believed they were investing in an internet shopping mall. The defendant cashed checks he received from these individuals, directed the income from this enterprise to a Canadian bank account and did not file income tax returns for those years with the IRS, causing a tax loss of approximately $79,367.
Later, between 2016 and 2020, the defendant, using the name Raymond James, defrauded other individuals of approximately $1.5 million by inducing them to invest in Costa Rican villas that were never built.
In May 2022, McPherson was apprehended in Costa Rica and deported back to the United States.
“Robin McPherson only delayed the inevitable, when he appeared before the Court and entered his guilty plea today to tax evasion and other crimes,” said Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division. “Tax fugitives should know that they will be found and brought to justice, no matter where they hide or how long it takes.”
“After over 20 years since his original conviction for tax charges, McPherson is now being held accountable and taking responsibility for his crimes,” said Special Agent in Charge Tyler Hatcher of the IRS Criminal Investigation Los Angeles Field Office. “Today’s guilty plea serves as a reminder and warning, those who evade their taxes and try to run will face the consequences. No person is above the law, and no one can evade the consequences indefinitely.”
McPherson is scheduled to be sentenced on April 28, 2023, and faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison for failure to appear, five years in prison for tax evasion and 20 years in prison for wire fraud. The defendant also faces a period of supervised release, restitution, and monetary penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division, U.S. Attorneys Randy S. Grossman for the Southern District of California and Natalie K. Wight for the District of Oregon made the announcement.
IRS-Criminal Investigation and the FBI are investigating the matter.
Trial Attorney Charles A. O’Reilly of the Justice Department’s Tax Division is prosecuting the cases.