Owner of New Bedford seafood processing plant sentenced for tax evasion

 

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Date: January 8, 2021

Contact: newsroom@ci.irs.gov

Providence — A Rhode Island man was sentenced to three years in prison today for tax evasion, announced Special Agent in Charge Kristina O'Connell of IRS Criminal Investigation.

According to court documents, for more than ten years, Billie R. Schofield attempted to evade his federal income taxes. Schofield partly owned and worked for Northern Pelagic LLC, a seafood processing business located in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Despite earning hundreds of thousands of dollars in income, Schofield failed to pay taxes owed and, beginning in 2009, stopped filing income tax returns. Between 2008 and 2018, Schofield obstructed IRS efforts to assess and collect his taxes by filing fraudulent forms, advancing frivolous tax arguments, creating and using a nominee entity and bank account, negotiating income checks to cash, and creating and submitting fraudulent checks to the IRS in an attempt to extinguish his tax liabilities. Including penalties and interest, Schofield caused a tax loss of more than $350,000 to the United States.

In addition to a term of imprisonment, U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith sentenced Schofield to three years of supervised release, a $5,000 fine, and ordered him to pay $364,200.22 in restitution to the IRS.

Special agents of IRS-CI investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandra Hebert and Trial Attorney Christopher P. O'Donnell of the Tax Division prosecuted the case.