July 23, 2010 in City

Former Colbert couple plead not guilty to tax evasion

Federal officials say they failed to report $2.4 million in income
By The Spokesman-Review
 

A former Colbert couple now living in Honduras were arraigned in federal court today after the husband and wife were arrested in Florida on warrants for failing to pay income taxes in Washington.

Kristin W. Haynes and Scott D. Haynes, 56, both pleaded not guilty. Each faces five misdemeanor counts of failing to pay taxes, according to court records.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Earl Hicks told U.S. Magistrate Judge James Hutton that the Hayneses “failed to report $2.4 million in income and owe the government over $900,000” in back taxes and fines.

“Although they are U.S. citizens, they currently live in Roatan, Honduras,” he said.

Hicks explained that Honduras currently does not have an extradition agreement with the United States. “If released, they could choose not to return … so the government is moving for detention.”

Hicks said Scott Haynes also has a previous felony conviction for tax evasion, which included a term in prison.

According to court records, the husband and wife both failed to file tax returns between 1999 and 2004. At that time, they moved to a tropical island in the Caribbean, off the coast of Honduras, where they have lived for the past six years.

Both were indicted by a grand jury on March 24 and they were arrested on those warrants June 22 at an airport in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., when they returned to the U.S.

Kristin Haynes is the artist who designs figurines and related merchandise sold nationwide under the “Dreamsicles” trademark, according to newspaper archives.

According to the 1998 plea agreement, Haynes and his wife received royalty income of $5.5 million from Cast Art Industries from 1993 to 1996 for a series of sculptures and merchandise.

The couple regularly contributed to The Spokesman-Review Christmas Fund and sold their home in Colbert in 2001 for $256,000.

They did not comment at the arraignment; a detention hearing was set for Wednesday.

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