PHOENIX—Alpine property owner and convicted tax evader Kevin Scott Wynn did not appear at his sentencing on Monday in the U.S. District Court of Arizona.
The hearing was the third time his sentencing had been re-set after a jury found him guilty of tax-related charges on Dec. 6, 2019. In a July 20 filing with the court, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona reported that Wynn cut off his ankle bracelet monitoring device and withdrew $1.25 million from his business bank account.
The jury convicted Wynn of one count of tax evasion, a felony, and three counts of failing to a file tax return, all misdemeanors. The indictment charged that “Starting in 1995, Kevin Scott Wynn determined to no longer file personal income taxes, or to pay taxes on his personal income to the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”). Wynn kept the money for himself and spent it on his personal lifestyle.” The indictment stated that Wynn has worked in the construction industry.
The trial lasted three days, and each side has since made their recommendations to the court about his sentence, which is governed by federal sentencing guidelines. Guidelines start at a base number of months in prison depending on the crime committed, then moves up or down in number of months depending on the particular circumstances of the defendant and the crime.
For example, the government believes the base number of months that the one felony Wynn was found guilty of, tax evasion, should be 37 months in prison, “To deter other tax scofflaws,” and to convince Wynn “to start complying with the obligations of all those who live and work in America ...” they wrote.
However, the government told the court that if Wynn pays up before sentencing the $765,429.22 which they believe he owes, the prosecutors would recommend only 30 months in prison. That recommendation is out the window at this point.
In his past filing, Wynn said that he is “very remorseful and embarrassed” about the whole thing and he therefore deserves leniency. The defense wants a “non-custodial sentence of probation,” according to its memorandum, or at worst, confinement at home with work-release. Wynn rightly claims that “the Court should consider Kevin’s individual history and characteristics.”
In this case, the defense claims that Wynn still struggles with the death of his 21-year old son, Trevor, who died in a 2008 car wreck. Wynn also produced many letters from well wishers calling Wynn a generous person who has helped out family and friends consistently through his working career.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gary Restaino and James R. Knapp wrote that regarding Wynn’s generosity to others, that the government doesn’t doubt Wynn’s “ability to lend support to friends and family in down times,” but claim that Wynn “only had the ability to provide financial support because he was ripping off the government to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars per year.” The prosecutors also remind the judge about Wynn’s “concerted efforts to structure his business activities in a way to conceal assets from the IRS.” Wynn put the 48-foot yacht, for example, “in his brother’s name,” they urge, but paid $3,000 per month on the yacht’s maintenance.
A family member of Wynn wrote to The Independent on July 20, and gloomily predicted that Wynn would “skate” on the prison time. The writer said that “Kevin is a bully and a narcissist” with an “ability to buy himself out of problems.” But in its Updated Sentencing Memorandum filed last week, the prosecutors now want 57 months in prison.
They argue that by not showing up for his sentencing, cutting off his ankle bracelet and withdrawing money from “a cash piggy bank,” Wynn now is in “obstructive conduct” territory and that changes everything.
Court records show that the judge did not issue a warrant for Wynn’s arrest; rather the sentencing was re-set to Sept. 29. It is unknown if Wynn will appear, if so he may already be in custody of the U.S. Marshalls.