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Bozeman business owner admits evading taxes

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Posted at 4:15 PM, Aug 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-01 09:04:28-04

A Bozeman business owner admitted Tuesday in Missoula to tax evasion charges after an investigation determined he underreported his income for two years to avoid paying at least $41,000 in taxes, Acting U.S. Attorney Leif M. Johnson said.

Brandon Robert Wilson, 37, owner and operator of Shedhorn Construction, Inc. (SCI), pleaded guilty to two counts of tax evasion. There was no plea agreement in the case. Wilson faces a maximum of five years in prison, a $100,000 fine, and three years of supervised release on each count.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Kathleen L. DeSoto presided. Sentencing was set for Dec. 21 before U.S. District Judge Dana L. Christensen. Wilson was released pending further proceedings.

In court documents, the government alleged federal agents received information that Wilson was claiming personal expenses as business deductions on his taxes and was writing his name, rather than the company’s name, on invoices so payments from clients would go directly to him. Investigators found that Wilson claimed $179,101 of gross receipts for SCI in 2014, but that he was paid approximately $331,350, for an understatement of $152,248. In 2015, Wilson reported business income totaling $193,528, but that the company made $259,133, resulting in an understatement of $65,605. Investigators determined that—assuming he properly reported legitimate business expenses as deductions--Wilson owes additional taxes of $36,353 for 2014 and $4,799 for 2015. Wilson indicated his intention to contest the loss amount. The parties will submit a request for a hearing to determine the extent of Wilson’s outstanding tax liability prior to sentencing.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Karla E. Painter is prosecuting the case, which was investigated by the IRS-Criminal Investigation.