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Connecticut fisherman indicted along with six others for tax evasion

A Connecticut commercial fisherman was indicted along with six other commercial fishermen for allegedly failing to file tax returns and evading taxes over six years for income ranging over $1 million each.

The United States Department of Justice announced the charges following indictments of seven fishermen by grand juries out of Boston and Providence, including Brian Kobus of Durham Connecticut who, according to the indictment, allegedly skipped out on paying taxes for $1 million in earnings between 2017 and 2021.

Kobus and the other fishermen were classified as non-employee independent contractors for commercial fishing companies and therefore received 1099 forms in order to pay their taxes, according to the Justice Department.

The indictment alleges Kobus failed to file tax returns between 2017 and 2021 and attempted to evade taxes by cashing his paychecks “to conceal the source and disposition of the income he earned as a fisherman,” and “used the cash to pay for personal expenditures as a way to further conceal his financial activity.”

Kobus was not the only one trying to use cash to avoid taxes and some of the indicted fishermen allegedly failed to pay taxes for “a decade or more,” according to the Justice Department.

“To conceal the source and disposition of their income, the fishermen allegedly cashed paychecks and then used the cash to fund their lifestyles,” the Justice Department wrote in a press release. “One of the defendants allegedly also used the name and Social Security number of another individual to conduct business as a further effort to hide income. In some instances, the fishermen allegedly filed false tax returns for certain years by either not reporting their fishing income or by reporting false business expense deductions to reduce the amount of taxes they owed.”

The amount of income not reported to the government ranged between $900,000 and $1.9 million each, according to the indictments.

If convicted, each could face up to five years in prison for each evasion count and one year in prison for each failure to file count.

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Marc E. Fitch, Senior Investigative Reporter

Marc E. Fitch

Marc worked as an investigative reporter for Yankee Institute and was a 2014 Robert Novak Journalism Fellow. He previously worked in the field of mental health is the author of several books and novels, along with numerous freelance reporting jobs and publications. Marc has a Master of Fine Arts degree from Western Connecticut State University.

1 Comment

  1. edward
    April 19, 2023 @ 11:30 am

    The government is emptying the prisons of violent felons and murderers. No charges, no bail for violent crimes and theft of other peoples property. So why would the government put a non-violent tax avoider in jail? Seems wrong.


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