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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spokane public accountant indicted on tax fraud, evasion charges

A Spokane public accountant has been indicted on eight counts of federal tax fraud and evasion.

A grand jury alleges that between 2009 and 2011, Roger A. Stadtmueller failed to report more than $1.7 million in income from a corporation he formed in 2005. Also during that time, he filed fraudulent personal tax returns, according to the indictment. Stadtmueller was released earlier this summer on $100,000 bond pending trial.

Stadtmueller previously owned the financial firm Stadtmueller & Associates. That company specialized in preparing accounting documents for mortgage firms interested in attaining assistance from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, according to the indictment. He also prepared income tax returns. The company was sold in August 2014, according to court documents in an unrelated case.

It’s not the first time Stadtmueller has been in legal hot water. In August 1997, a hot air balloon operating as part of Stadtmueller’s company, American Hot Air Lines, crashed near Donald, Oregon, the second such crash of one of the company’s balloons. A 70-year-old man died in that crash, and a lawsuit was brought a few months later by the insurance company covering Stadtmueller’s business. It was settled out of court, and Stadtmueller filed for bankruptcy in 1999.

Phone messages left for Stadtmueller and his Austin, Texas, attorney went unanswered Monday.

The grand jury alleges Stadtmueller formed a second corporation called Zazz Inc. in 2005, while Stadtmueller & Associates continued to operate. Stadtmueller filed forms “in an effort to conceal certain types of income from the IRS” for the years 2007-10, according to the indictment. In addition, Stadtmueller received more than $11,000 in federal income tax returns he was not entitled to, according to allegations in the indictment.

Stadtmueller & Associates, Zazz Inc. and American Hot Air Lines all remain active corporations, according to the Washington secretary of state’s office. Stadtmueller remains a licensed certified public accountant with the state.

In a second bankruptcy filed in November 2013, Stadtmueller listed debts totaling more than $1 million.

Stadtmueller faces a maximum prison term of 22 years and fines totaling more than $1 million, in addition to the payment of due taxes. The trial is tentatively scheduled before U.S. District Court Chief Judge Rosanna Malouf Peterson in February.