GREENEVILLE — A Unicoi man who failed to report hundreds of thousands of dollars of income earned over an eight-year period through an online veterinary products business has been sentenced on federal tax evasion charges.
Danny Dwain Moore, 57, appeared in U.S. District Court in Greeneville on Monday and was sentenced to 24 months in prison and ordered to pay $847,622 in restitution to the IRS. Moore pleaded guilty in September 2011 to willfully making and subscribing a false federal tax return.
Prosecutors say Moore, a licensed veterinarian since 1980, sold his two veterinary clinics in the mid-1990s to focus on multi-level marketing and online business ventures. After his first venture became less profitable in the early 2000s, Moore began a second business called The Natural Vet — an online business specializing in the sale of natural holistic veterinary products for horses and pets.
Court records state The Natural Vet proved to be highly profitable, with annual sales exceeding $1.5 million by 2007.
After filing frivolous returns in 2001 and 2002 and not filing any tax returns in 2003 and 2004, prosecutors say Moore began filing false joint tax returns with his wife in 2005, but omitting all of his business income. Moore filed similar false returns for the next three years as well.
According to the sentencing memorandum, Moore reported earning only $16 in 2005 and $29 in 2006, excluding his wife’s wages and the more than $350,000 he earned during each of those years.
In 2007 and 2008, Moore reported his wife’s earnings of $20,000 and $34,400 respectively, but again left out the $538,000 and $619,000 he had earned through his online business both of those years.
In total, Moore earned more than $1.9 million over that four-year period and should have paid just over $555,000 in federal income taxes. Moore listed his occupation on the tax returns as “American citizen.”
“In our tax system, citizens have a responsibility to comply with the nation’s tax laws,” said Christopher Henry, special agent in charge, IRS — Criminal Investigation, Nashville Field Office. “Any attempt to intentionally evade the payment of federal income tax is a serious crime. Part of our mission is to assure honest taxpayers that everyone pays their fair share.”