Jury convicts former Oregon securities broker of tax evasion


Date: November 14, 2022

Contact: newsroom@ci.irs.gov

Portland, OR — After a two-week trial, a federal jury in Portland found a McMinnville, Oregon man guilty today of evading $2.5 million in income taxes by hiding his income in multiple bank accounts and submitting false financial statements to the IRS.

James Millegan was convicted of one count of tax evasion.

According to court documents, Millegan owned and operated J.W. Millegan, Inc., a small, commission-based investment advisory business that served clients in the Portland and Salem, Oregon metropolitan areas. From 1996 to 2016, the investment firm was Millegan's only significant source of income.

Over a seven-year period from July 2009 through September 2016, Millegan evaded payment of $2.5 million in income taxes. Millegan filed tax returns each year reflecting his true income, which sometimes exceeded $1 million, and the taxes he owed on that income, which typically ranged from $125,000 to $350,000. Despite these returns, Millegan often failed paid the IRS.

Millegan was described as a prolific spender by personal assistants hired to pay his bills. He used the proceeds of his tax evasion to fund an extravagant lifestyle that included a $4.5 million home in Portland, a $1.3 million home on the Oregon coast, Rolls Royce and Bentley automobiles for everyday use, equestrian expenses like stabling and lessons, and an attempt to establish a world-class equestrian competition center and resort near Sheridan, Oregon. Millegan also bought a classic 1938 Rolls Royce touring car, spent $800,000 restoring it, and showed it in premier car shows in the U.S., Great Britain, and Europe.

To evade the payment of his income taxes, Millegan concealed his income from the IRS by transferring it to six bank accounts he controlled, including transferring $1.4 million to the bank account of his deceased mother's trust, which he used to pay his personal expenses. From July 2009 through September 2016, Millegan transferred $3.7 million to these accounts. To further conceal his income, Millegan submitted false financial statements to the IRS.

On November 21, 2019, a federal grand jury in Portland returned a 13-count indictment charging Millegan with tax evasion and investment churning. Later, on February 17, 2022, he was charged by superseding indictment with wire fraud and tax evasion. A jury trial on the wire fraud charges is scheduled to begin in March 2023.

Tax evasion is punishable by up to five years in federal prison. Millegan will be sentenced on April 3, 2023, by U.S. District Court Judge Karin J. Immergut.

This tax evasion case was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation. Seth D. Uram and Meredith D.M. Bateman, Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the District of Oregon, are prosecuting the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Hannah Horsley assisted the trial team.