Date: January 19, 2020
DENVER – Special Agent in Charge Andy Tsui, IRS-Criminal Investigation announced Robert Eugene Hybertson of Brighton, Colorado was sentenced to time served, which constitutes approximately 20 months' imprisonment for failure to file a tax return and for fraudulently concealing facts relevant to Social Security Disability payments. Hybertson will serve 3 years of supervised release. The defendant also agreed to pay restitution to the Social Security Administration (SSA) in the amount of $146,484, file accurate tax returns for all years in which returns are pending, and pay all taxes owed to the IRS as determined by a subsequent civil IRS proceeding.
According to the stipulated facts in the plea agreement, Hybertson received a gross income of $887,000 in 2012 but willfully failed to file the required income tax return for that year. The defendant also failed to file tax returns for his income for the years 2010, 2011, and 2013, when he had approximate gross incomes of $241,000, $566,000, and $117,000, respectively. The estimated tax loss for those four years is $828,000, or $1.7 million if penalties and interest are included.
Also, in May 2001, Hybertson began receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. As part of this application, the defendant agreed to notify SSA if the defendant's medical condition improved enough that he was able to return to work. Starting around 2010, however, Hybertson concealed from SSA the fact that he was receiving the income described above, including by making false statements that he was not working. As a result of his concealment, Hybertson received $146,484 in SSDI benefits to which he was not entitled.
"As we enter into tax filing season, today's sentencing of Robert Hybertson is a timely reminder that the payment of one's taxes is an obligation, and not a choice," said Special Agent in Charge Andy Tsui, IRS-Criminal Investigation. "Mr. Hybertson made the decision not to file tax returns when he was legally obligated to do so. He cheated all taxpayers who make an honest effort every year to comply with the US tax laws and pay their fair share."
"Social Security OIG is committed to protecting the agency's disability programs from fraud, waste, and abuse," said Adam Lowder, Acting Special Agent-in-Charge of the SSA OIG's Denver Field Division. "This individual deliberately concealed his work from Social Security for personal gain for over a decade. We will continue to pursue those who commit disability fraud, and we appreciate the efforts of the U.S. Attorney's Office to see justice served and recover funds for Social Security."
"The defendant avoided paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes and at the same time lied to get money he did not deserve from Social Security Disability Insurance," said U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn. "Special thanks to the IRS-Criminal Investigation and Social Security Office of the Inspector General who persisted with their investigation to ensure Hybertson was brought to justice."
The sentencing hearing was before U.S. District Court Judge R. Brook Jackson. The case was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation and the Social Security Office of the Inspector General. The defendant was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rebecca Weber, Emily Treaster, Kelly Churnet, and First Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Kirsch.