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    Dubois business owner to be sentenced for conspiracy to defraud the United States, filing false return

    All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

    (Dubois, WY) – Dubois business owner Tammy Bushnell pled “guilty” to charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States and filing a false return, at a hearing held today, May 16, before the Honorable Judge Scott W. Skavdahl.

    A sentencing hearing has been set for August 21.

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    She faces a total of up to 8 years imprisonment, up to $350,000 in fines, and up to 3 years supervised release for the charges.

    Bushnell co-owns Trails End Guns and the Trails End Motel in Dubois with her husband, whom the available Court documents did not name or indicate any charges were filed against at this time.

    Those Court documents state that Trails End Guns and Trails End Motel are sole proprietorships, and “as such, the business activity for both businesses are required to be reported separately on Schedules C, Profit and Loss from Business (Sole Proprietorship), to the couple’s Forms 1040.”

    “For the tax years 2017 through 2021, the couple had their Forms 1040 prepared and filed by a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in Illinois,” Court documents continue. “The couple provided the CPA with the documents and information to prepare and file the Forms 1040, including the information reported on the Schedules C.”

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    As to the conspiracy to defraud the United States charge, the information affidavit stated that beginning on or about April 15, 2018, Bushnell “knowingly and intentionally did conspire, combine, confederate and agree with her husband, to devise and execute a scheme to defraud the United States for the purpose of impeding, impairing, obstructing and defeating the lawful government functions of the Internal Revenue Service of the Treasury Department in the ascertainment, computation, assessment and collection of the review, to wit: federal income taxes,” which continued through “on or about April 15, 2022.”

    This conspiracy reportedly included “routine underreporting of gross income through the submission of false and fraudulent business records and reported income to the couple’s accountant knowing the accountant would use the information to prepare the couple’s tax returns.”

    In “furtherance of the conspiracy,” Court documents state that Bushnell and/or her husband performed “one or more” of the following “overt acts.”

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    • The routine destruction of business documents that would reveal true cash receipts
    • The routine purchase of money orders with cash obtained from business operations (to hide reportable income)
    • The bartering of goods and services
    • The submission of fraudulent and false business records/reports to their accountant

    In regards to the filing a false return charge, Court documents go on to state that on or about April 15, 2022, Bushnell “did willfully make and subscribe a Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, for tax year 2021, which was verified by a written declaration that it was made under the penalties of perjury and which she did not believe to be true and correct as to every material matter.”

    “That document, which the couple prepared and signed and caused to be filed with the Internal Revenue Service, stated, in 2021 on Forms 1040, Schedule C, Line 7, that the couple received total income of $288,567, whereas, as the Defendant then and there knew, they received at least $559,026 in total income in 2021.”

    A plea agreement was later filed on Bushnell’s behalf on April 29 which is sealed and not available for public viewing, and her initial appearance hearing was then set for today.

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    Bushnell pled “guilty” to both Counts, and the mentioned August 21 sentencing hearing was set.

    A conspiracy to defraud the United States charge holds a maximum sentence of 5 years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, 3 years supervised release and $100 special assessment fee, with potential restitution to be determined by the Court.

    A filing a false return charge holds a maximum if sentence of 3 years imprisonment, a $100,000 fine, 1 year of supervised release and a $100 special assessment fee, with potential restitution to be determined by the Court.

    County 10 will provide updates as they become available, which can be viewed here.

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