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.