A Michigan man was sentenced to 36 months in prison today following his conviction in February of filing false tax returns, making false statements to a bankruptcy court, and making false statements to the Justice Department’s Tax Division.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Donald Stanley LaVigne, formerly of Lake Orion, Michigan, did not report insurance commissions and other income on tax returns he filed with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for 2013 through 2019. In letters he sent to the IRS, LaVigne also falsely claimed that these commissions were not income to him.

When LaVigne filed for bankruptcy in 2018, he did not disclose the IRS as a creditor on the schedules attached to his bankruptcy petition even though he knew he owed the IRS five years’ worth of taxes. On one document he filed in the bankruptcy case, LaVigne also understated his income for 2016 and 2017.

Buy Me A Coffee

After he was notified that he was the target of a federal investigation, LaVigne sent a letter to the Tax Division in which he falsely claimed that his bankruptcy attorney had reviewed his 2017 income tax return and advised him that it was “correct and complete.” In fact, his bankruptcy attorney testified at trial that he had never advised LaVigne that his 2017 income tax return was accurate.

In addition to the term of imprisonment, U.S. District Judge David M. Lawson also ordered LaVigne to serve two years of supervised release and pay restitution to the IRS in the amount of $80,732.11.

Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division made the announcement. IRS-Criminal Investigation investigated the case. Trial Attorneys Melissa S. Siskind and Catriona M. Coppler of the Justice Department’s Tax Division prosecuted the case.