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Fmr. Federal Tax Judge & Husband Sentenced For Tax Fraud

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- A former U.S. tax court judge is sentenced to more than two years in prison for a tax fraud conspiracy with her husband.

Diane Kroupa, 61, is sentenced to 34 months in prison Thursday for tax fraud. Her husband, 63-year-old Robert Fackler, also pleaded guilty in the case and is sentenced to 24 months is prison.

According to the U.S. Attorney's office, Kroupa was appointed to the judgeship in 2003 for a term of 15 years. Her husband, Fackler, was a self-employed lobbyist and political consultant while Kroupa was on the bench. The couple owned a home in Plymouth and a second home in Easton, Maryland, while the two worked in Washington, D.C.

Prosecutors say Kroupa and Fackler attempted to keep the IRS from accurately determining their joint income taxes by listing numerous personal expenses as businesses expenses related to Fackler's consulting firm. Some of those expenses included rent and utilities for their Maryland home, utilities and renovation of their Minnesota home, Pilates classes, spa and massage fees, jewelry, clothing, wine club fees, and several international vacations.

In their plea agreement, Kroupa and Fackler also admitted to deducting several business expenses more than once, and failing to report some forms of income, including a $44,000 land sale in South Dakota. The plea agreement also said the couple purposely concealed documents from their tax preparer and the IRS during an audit.

The couple was also ordered to pay more than $450,000 in restitution.

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