Incline author admits tax scheme
INCLINE VILLAGE – Nationally-known military adventure novelist Dale Brown of Incline Village pleaded guilty this week to filing false tax returns, saying he takes full responsibility and is sorry for his actions.
“It was stupid, just stupid,” said Brown, who could face up to three years in jail and a maximum penalty of $250,000 when sentenced in August. Brown, author of 13 New York Times Bestsellers, Including “Flight of the Old Dog,” “Fatal Terrain” and “Warrior Class,” filed the false return for the 1998 tax year.
“It was very poor judgment on my part. I take full and complete responsibility for what I’ve done and I’m extremely sorry for what I did – it was wrong. It was a stupid and greedy thing to do. I wish there’s somebody I could blame this on, but there isn’t.”
Brown said it is important for the community and his neighbors that he be open and honest about what happened.
“I want to assure everybody that I’m trying to prove I’m not a bad guy,” he said. “People make mistakes, and you have to pay for those mistakes – I’m ready to pay for mine.”
According to a U.S. Attorney press release, Brown, 47, used an offshore tax evasion scheme designed to allow him to deduct fictitious expenses totaling $341,975 for research, marketing and contract services paid to a foreign corporation in the West Indies, which officials say was established to further the scheme. Additionally, Brown deducted $106,314 for an insurance policy from another company in Grenada, they said.
Federal officials said Brown used the scheme to pay for remodeling expenses for a new residence, among other things.
Brown said he was introduced to the tax evasion scheme by unnamed financial advisors.
“They told me this is what all the rich people do … I never thought I’d get caught,” he said. “I was being taken for a ride by the people I trusted, but I can’t blame it on anyone else, it was my responsibility.”
Brown said he couldn’t go into the details of the case because of his cooperation with the continuing IRS investigation.
The bottom line, Brown said, is that these kinds of tax schemes are not worth it.
“You have to think about the consequences … your professional life, family, the folks in the community,” he said. “People who set up these schemes don’t think about that – they just think about scamming you.”
He warned anybody else in the community involved in similar schemes to get out – fast.
“If it seems to be worth it now, it won’t be,” Brown said. I hope anybody else who might be involved in something like this will wise up. It’s bad news.”
Brown will be sentenced Aug. 9 in Portland, Ore.
– The Associated Press contributed to this story