FRESNO, CA — United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that Walter Watts III, 42, of Fresno, pleaded guilty today to tax evasion.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Fresno County Sheriff's Department. Assistant United States Attorney Kevin Rooney is prosecuting the case.
According to the plea agreement, Watts admitted that he had under-reported his income for tax year 2007, and that during the same year, he deliberately converted $31,000 cash into four cashiers checks and used those checks for a down payment on a $72,000 motorboat.
Watts is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge Anthony Ishii on July 5, 2011. The maximum statutory penalty for tax evasion is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.