Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Salt Lake dentist sentenced for state tax evasion

A Salt Lake County dentist will have to pay about $165,000 or face prison time for failing to file tax returns and taking efforts to evade paying state income taxes.
Benjamin Lee Gilstrap, 59, was found guilty of one second-degree count of racketeering and two third-degree felony counts of tax evasion and attempted tax evasion.
Gilstrap resides in South Jordan and operates a dental office in Sandy. He attempted to avoid paying taxes by co-mingling his business and personal expenses.
Gistrap also failed to file tax returns during a five-year period in which he had earned nearly $1.5 million.

"Failing to pay taxes brings consequences because it is a failure to basic obligations of citizenship," says Attorney General Mark Shurtleff. "It is particularly disheartening because this defendant rebuffed all efforts for resolution which resulted in even greater costs to taxpayers."
On Sept. 19, Third District Court Judge William Barrett suspended Gilstrap's sentence of up to five years in priosn, but ordered him to provide full documentation for restitution, spend 50 days of home confinement with electronic monitoring, serve 350 hours of community service and serve six years of probation.
"Tax evasion is a serious crime that the Tax Commission continues to vigorously investigate," says Charlie Roberts, Utah State Tax Commission spokesman. "When those who receive public benefits attempt to skirt the law by not paying their fair share of taxes, it places an undue burden on the rest of Utah's taxpayers."
Gilstrap was investigated by the Tax Commission and prosecuted by the Attorney General's Office.

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