Douglas Bruce arrested for tax evasion

Colorado Springs anti-tax crusader Douglas Bruce was arrested today on charges of tax evasion, attempting to influence a public servant, and other charges.

Attorney General John Suthers issued this press release:

Douglas Bruce mug shot (Image: Colorado Attorney General's office)

Colorado Attorney General John Suthers announced today that the Statewide Grand Jury has returned an indictment against Douglas Bruce (DOB: 8/26/1949) of Colorado Springs for failing to pay taxes on income he earned during the 2005, 2006 and 2007 tax years.

According to the four-count indictment, Bruce is suspected of attempting to evade his tax responsibilities by funneling his income into the coffers of Active Citizens Together, a nonprofit he created in 2001, and failing to report such income to the Department of Revenue. Bruce is suspected of filing a false tax return on income he earned during the 2005 tax year and failing to file a tax return concerning income he earned during the 2006 and 2007 tax years.

“State law requires that citizens who live in Colorado and enjoy all of the benefits of being a resident pay the appropriate taxes,” Suthers said. “No one is exempt from that obligation.”

According to the indictment, Bruce is suspected of evasion of taxes administered by the Colorado Department of Revenue, a class-five felony; filing a false tax return, a class-five felony; attempt to influence a public servant, a class-four felony; and failure to file a return or pay a tax, a misdemeanor offense. Bruce could face up to six years in prison or up to $500,000 in fines if convicted of attempt to influence a public servant, a class-four felony.

The Colorado Department of Revenue investigated and referred this case to the Office of the Attorney General for presentation to the Statewide Grand Jury. The grand jury returned the indictment on April 7. Prosecutors for the Office of the Attorney General will present the state’s case against Bruce in Denver District Court.

The indictment says the investigation into Bruce’s finances came about as the result of a claim he made in 2004 when he ran for county commissioner. He promised then to donate his salary to charity. The charity, Active Citizens Together, which raised some eyebrows.

He was arrested at 1:03 pm by the Colorado Springs Police at a Post Office at 4300 Montebello Drive, Colorado Springs.

Bruce is no stranger to controversy. As a legislator he once famously kicked a journalist. More recently, he was the force behind three tax cutting measures on last year’s ballot--all the while pretending he wasn’t.

Scot Kersgaard has been managing editor of a political newspaper, editor and co-owner of a ski town newspaper, executive editor of eight high-tech magazines (where he worked with current Apple CEO Tim Cook), deputy press secretary to a U.S. Senator, and an outdoors columnist at the Rocky Mountain News. He has an English degree from the University of Washington. He was awarded a fellowship to study internet journalism at the University of Maryland's Knight Center for Specialized Journalism. He was student body president in college. He spends his free time hiking and skiing.

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