Attorney General announces guilty verdicts for Black Forest man suspected of tax evasion

DENVER — Colorado Attorney General John Suthers announced today that a Denver jury has convicted Jack Wharton Thomas (DOB: 4/4/1956) of four felonies related to his failure to pay more than $60,000 in taxes, penalties and interest he owed to the state of Colorado.

Thomas, a commercial airline pilot, tax protestor and resident of Black Forest, evaded his state tax responsibilities between April 2004 and April 2008. Thomas defended himself throughout the judicial process by alleging, among other things, that he did not meet the definition of a “taxpayer” under the Internal Revenue Service code, he did not earn any “wages” as defined by the government, and that he was a resident of Wyoming and not Colorado.

“One’s political belief that taxes are unjust does not change the fact that taxes exist,” Suthers said. “State law requires that citizens who live in Colorado and enjoy all of the benefits of being a Colorado resident pay the appropriate taxes.”

The Office of the Attorney General presented its case in two days this week. The jury took less than an hour to convict Thomas on each count:

  • Evasion of taxes administered by the Colorado Department of Revenue, a class-five felony;
  • Fraud by check, a class-six felony;
  • Forgery of checks or commercial instruments, a class-five felony; and,
  • Filing a false tax return, a class-five felony.

The Office of the Attorney General prosecuted Thomas with the assistance of the Criminal Tax Enforcement Section of the Colorado Department of Revenue.

Thomas is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 10, 2010.


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