Following up on our prior coverage (see here), former US Tax Court Judge Diane L. Kroupa pleaded guilty on Friday to multiple tax criminal charges related to her tax returns and interactions with the Internal Revenue Service. The government stipulated during the hearing that all charges except defrauding the United States would be dropped if Kroupa agreed to be sentenced on the fraud charge. Based on sentencing guidelines, the recommended sentence is between 30-37 months, although the judge may ultimately sentence Kroupa to more or less time. A copy of the Change of Plea Hearing can be found here.
On April 4, 2016, the US Attorney for the District of Minnesota announced a federal grand jury indictment charging former US Tax Court Judge Diane L. Kroupa and her husband with conspiring to evade the assessment of taxes. In a multi-count indictment, both were charged with conspiracy, tax evasion, making and subscribing false tax returns and obstruction of an IRS audit. According to the indictment and documents filed in court, Kroupa and her husband fraudulently claimed personal expenses as business deductions, failed to report income from a land sale, and falsely claimed financial insolvency. They also allegedly concealed certain documents from their taxpayer preparer and an IRS agent during an audit, and caused misleading documents to be delivered to the IRS. The indictment alleges that between 2004 and 2010, Kroupa and her husband purposely understated their taxable income by approximately $1 million and the amount of tax owed by at least $400,000.
Judge Kroupa was appointed to the Tax Court in June 2003, and retired from the court in June 2014. While she was on the bench, Kroupa was very active—the Tax Court’s website indicates that she authored 234 opinions, including 31 division or “T.C.” opinions, 180 “memorandum” opinions, and 23 “summary” opinions. Some of her more notable opinions were Canal Corp., Bank of NY Mellon, BMC Software, Samueli and Eaton.
Here is a link to a press release issued by the U.S. Department of Justice: Former United States Tax Court Judge and Husband Indicted for Conspiracy to Commit Tax Evasion and Obstruction of an IRS Audit.