RELEASED: October 5, 2001
HONOLULU ATTORNEY FINED FOR NOT FILING HIS GENERAL EXCISE TAXES
Tax Director Marie Okamura announced that District Court Judge Russell S. Nagata fined David G. Bettencourt $25,000 for failing to file his general excise tax returns for the years 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999. In addition, Mr. Bettencourt was ordered to perform 250 hours for community service.
In a plea agreement, David G. Bettencourt entered a plea of "no contest" for not filing his annual general excise tax returns for five years. In accordance with the plea agreement, District Court judge Nagata fined Mr. Bettencourt $5,000 a year for a total fine of $25,000 and ordered Mr. Bettencourt to perform 250 hours of community service. Mr. Bettencourt was also placed on probation for a year and he is to pay $10,000 within 30 days and the balance of $15,000 within the period of this probation. In addition, Mr. Bettencourt was also ordered to file all of his delinquent tax returns in his probationary period.
The penalty for failing to file tax returns is a misdemeanor and upon conviction Mr. Bettencourt could have been imprisoned for a period not to exceed one year and/or a $25,000 fine for each year.
Tax Director Okamura continues to encourage taxpayers to voluntarily file their tax returns. The department will generally not initiate a criminal investigation when taxpayers voluntarily come forward to report their failure to file or other omissions.
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