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Spicer man gets 4½ years for tax evasion

MINNEAPOLIS -- A 71-year-old Spicer man was sentenced Thursday to 4½ years in prison on two counts of tax evasion.

Robert Goris was convicted in March for not paying income taxes in 2002 and 2003.

Goris was convicted of tax evasion by a federal jury March 11 following an eight-day trial. He was taken into federal custody immediately after sentencing.

According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's office in Minneapolis, Goris failed to pay more than $830,000 in income tax over the two-year period, despite receiving more than $3.5 million in income in 2002 and more than $400,000 in income in 2003. On his 2002 tax return, Goris reported his total tax as zero and claimed a $15,000 refund, even though he knew he owed substantial tax and wasn't entitled to a refund.

Goris failed to report more than $300,000 in income in 2003.

Evidence entered at the trial showed Goris developed schemes to evade taxes, including creating companies owned by trusts, which, in reality, he controlled.

In one such instance, Goris arranged for portions of his income to be paid to one of those companies and then transferred those funds into the trusts.

He then spent that money, failing to report it on his returns.