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Doug Bruce Found Guilty Of Tax Evasion, Faces Up To 12 Years In Prison, $700,000 In Fines

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AP File
AP File

Doug Bruce, Colorado's notorious anti-tax advocate, was found guilty by a Denver jury Wednesday on tax-evasion charges. An indictment filed in April, 2011 (visible below), charged Bruce with evasion of taxes, filing a false tax return, attempting to influence a public servant, and failure to file return or pay tax.

The Colorado Springs Gazette reports Bruce faces up to 12 years in prison and $700,000 in fines. He must also turn over his passport as prosecutors believe he is a flight risk.

According to the Denver Post, prosecutors say the former lawmaker used his own an anti-tax group, "Active Citizens Together," to disguise his income. From 2005 through 2007, prosecutors believe Bruce funneled his salary as El Paso County commissioner into the group.

He deposited $2 million into an account for the nonprofit, then used interest from the funds as his own. 9News reports the amounts were $38,000 in 2005, $55,000 in 2006, and $85,000 in 2007. During the trial Bruce told reporters he owes $129 in state taxes. Colorado Department of Revenue officials believe the figure is closer to $10,722.

Bruce, the author of Colorado's much contested 1992 Taxpayer's Bill Of Rights (TABOR), has been described as "a cantankerous government gadfly." In 2008, Fox31 reports, Bruce made headlines for kicking a photographer on the floor of Colorado's House of Representatives. He also referred to migrant workers as "illiterate peasants."

Bruce will be sentenced February 13, 2012.

Around the Web

Jury gets Bruce tax fraud case - The Denver Post

Douglas Bruce convicted on all counts in tax evasion trial

Douglas Bruce - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia