PENSACOLA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10)– Mark D. Schneider, 60, formerly of Niceville, Florida, pled guilty yesterday to multiple federal tax crimes, announced Jason R. Coody, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida. Schneider, who lived in Niceville during the commission of his offenses, was recently arrested by the United States Marshals Service after becoming a fugitive when he failed to appear on the day of his trial in Pensacola in January 2021.
At his guilty plea, Schneider admitted in federal court that, while living in Niceville and then in Huntsville, Alabama, he evaded paying his federal income taxes between 2007 and 2016. Schneider agreed that the taxes he evaded payment on totaled over $200,000. During the plea, he also confirmed that he attempted to obstruct the Internal Revenue Service investigation into his criminal behavior by mailing false and fictitious documents, fraudulently trying to claim tax refunds, and interfering with federal grand jury subpoenas. When Schneider failed to appear for his federal jury trial in Pensacola in January, a warrant was issued for his arrest. The United States Marshals Service found Schneider working at a hotel outside Cleveland, Ohio, and took him into custody. At his guilty plea, Schneider also admitted to failing to appear to court as directed by Court Order.
"The United States relies on the payment of taxes to defend our country and maintain its operations," stated Acting United States Attorney Coody. "We will investigate and prosecute those who falsely misrepresent their income – whether by traditional evasion or the filing of fraudulent documents. Notwithstanding, falsification and flight, this defendant has been held to account as a result of the collective efforts of IRS Criminal Investigation and the U.S. Marshals Service."
"The defendant has demonstrated a flagrant pattern of evasion as indicated by his own admission to a years-long scheme to evade his tax obligations and further by his failed attempt to evade answering to the related charges by becoming a fugitive," said Special Agent in Charge Brian Payne of IRS Criminal Investigation. "Thanks to our partnership with the U.S. Marshals, Mr. Schneider will now be held accountable for all of his attempts to elude justice."
Schneider's sentencing hearing is scheduled for October 15, 2021, at 10:30 am, at the United States Courthouse in Pensacola before the Honorable United States District Judge M. Casey Rodgers. Schneider faces up to 30 years imprisonment on the tax related crimes. He faces up to 10 years, consecutively, for failing to appear in court as ordered.
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