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Troy Beam appeals conviction on tax evasion, failure to file returns

8 March 2013 No Comment

By AMBER SOUTH
@ShipNewsGirl

SHIPPENSBURG — A Shippensburg builder and landlord sent to prison on tax evasion and other charges is appealing his conviction.

Troy Beam was convicted in May 2011 of tax evasion, obstructing and impeding the due administration of the Internal Revenue laws, and willful failure to file federal income tax returns.

U.S. District Judge Christopher C. Conner sentenced Beam in April to 74 months in prison. His appeal is tentatively scheduled for May 15 in the U.S. Court of Appeals in the Third District.

The appeal requests that either Beam’s conviction be overturned or that he be granted a new trial.

It argues prosecutors did not show enough evidence that Internal Revenue Service representatives never informed Beam that his actions were illegal. It states that Beam based his decisions on information from the IRS, which he said was reviewed by his attorneys and accountant.

The appeal contends Beam’s right to silence was violated when prosecutors used testimony that Beam gave before criminal charges were filed, testimony taken in a civil audit.

Beam’s repeated attempts through his representatives to get answers from the IRS about those notices were overlooked, the document states.

The appeal claims that by not instructing the jury on Beam’s ability to rely on IRS representations of the tax laws that he and his counsel had asked about, prosecutors effectively told the jury they were not legally reliable.

The prosecution argues that Beam had been educated in tax law enough to know what he was doing, that his actions go against his argument in relation to his right to stay silent, and that there was no error made in jury instructions.

According to Public Opinion archives, Beam, a former certified public accountant and state auditor, earned substantial income from 1992 to when he was indicted in February 2010. This income came from operating a home construction business known as Sunbeam Builders, as well as owning and operating two real estate businesses known as Latrobe Leasing and Goldstar Property Management that purchased, rented and sold real estate.

Beam failed to file any federal income tax returns since April 1996, when he filed his 1995 tax return reporting a loss.

The indictment alleged that Beam obstructed the IRS in its attempt to calculate and collect his taxes by using several sham trusts and other entities, including North Star Investment Holdings Ltd., to hide his income and assets.

Beam used North Star to set up a bank account in the Cayman Islands into which he deposited nearly $3 million of income derived from his construction business.

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Amber South can be reached at asouth@publicopinionnews.com and 262-4771.

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