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Tax fugitives appear in court

Sat., July 24, 2010

Couple had been living on island in Caribbean

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

Kristin W. 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 Roatan, a tropical island in the Caribbean that is part 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-’96 for a series of sculptures and merchandise.

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

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


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