Couple Will Be Tried Together for Tax Evasion

A man and his wife from the local area will be tried together for tax evasion. News Director Leslie Stratmoen has
the story.

A couple from Sheridan charged with tax evasion will be tried together. A motion filed by Robert Sathre to sever his jury trial from his spouse, Judy, was denied earlier this month.

The trial has now been set for March 24. The couple was charged eight months ago, on June 12, for conspiring to defraud the IRS and evasion of taxes owed by Robert Sathre. Judy Sathre was also charged with filing a false tax return for tax year 2007. The information was released by the U.S. Department of Justice.

The conspiracy and tax evasion charges carry a maximum prison sentence of five years each and the false return charge carries a maximum penalty of three years in prison. All three charges carry fines of a quarter of a million dollars, each.

According to the indictment, Robert Sathre made three million dollars in the sale of a Minnesota business back in 1995 and ‘96 and concealed his income by filing a 1995 tax return reporting $65,000 in total income. He then purchased land in Sheridan and set up another business, a gas station and convenience store known as the Rock Stop.

The indictment goes on to say the Sathres concealed assets by opening a foreign bank account in the Caribbean islands, by using purported trusts. Again, according to the official document, he’s alleged to have sent more than half a million dollars to the account over a 10-month period, spanning 2005-06, to keep the funds out of reach from the IRS.

When he then sold the business in 2007, according to the official document, he had more than $1,250,000 from the sale proceeds wired to the trust account of a Wyoming law firm. Later, according to the indictment, the Sathres directed the law firm to wire $900,000 from the trust account to their account at the bank in the Caribbean. They are also alleged to have provided a false declaration and false promissory note to the bank to conceal the source of the transfer.

Robert Sathre is alleged to have obtained a debit card linked to the foreign account to access funds, locally. He is also alleged to have provided the Bank of Sheridan with an IRS form on which he falsely claimed he was neither a citizen nor a resident of the United States.

The indictment also alleges that the Sathres tried to conceal their ownership of real estate by using a purported trust to encumber their residence at Troon Place in Sheridan and to conceal their ownership of property in Hennepin County in Minnesota. To conceal ownership of the Rock Stop, they allegedly, in a similar way, used a second purported trust, at one point resigning as trustees and appointing their teenage daughter in the role.

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