A Houston, Texas attorney has been sentenced to two years in prison for conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and for tax evasion.
Jack Stephen Pursley was convicted in September of conspiring with a client to repatriate more than $18 million in untaxed income that the client had earned through his company, Southeastern Shipping. Pursley knew that the client had never paid taxes on these funds so Pursley designed and implemented a scheme to transfer the untaxed funds from Southeastern’s business bank account, in the Isle of Man, to the U.S. Pursley helped to hide the movement of funds from the Internal Revenue Service by disguising the transfers as stock purchases in U.S. corporations owned and controlled by Pursley and his client.
Pursley received more than $4.8 million and a 25-percent ownership interest in the co-conspirator’s ongoing business for his role in the fraud. In 2009 and 2010, Pursley evaded assessment of and failed to pay the taxes he owed on these payments by, among other means, withdrawing the funds as purported non-taxable loans and returns of capital. He used the money for investments and to purchase personal assets, including a Colorado home and property in Houston.
He was also ordered to serve two years of supervised release and to pay $1,788,753 in restitution to the United States Treasury.