By Matt Miller, KTOO
JUNEAU – A Skagway Borough Assembly member and businessman convicted of failing to file his income tax returns was ordered to spend just over a year in prison. Dan Henry, 61,operator of the Skagway Fish Company, will spend a year on supervised release after he gets out of prison. He must also pay over $600,000 in restitution to the federal government for unpaid back income taxes.
In a written statement to the court, Henry said alcoholism led to his dismissal from early jobs and a DUI conviction. He also blamed heavy drinking for gambling away all of the money he set aside for the 2005 season’s start of the Skagway Fish Company and payment of taxes. He put off filing his income taxes as he repeatedly returned to Las Vegas with the hope of winning his money back. But the losses simply compounded over the years.
Henry also wrote that he worked hard, long hours to build up the Skagway Fish Company over the years. But there is no one else to replace him and fill his multiple roles at the business. He ends his letter by apologizing for his conduct and acknowledging that he must make restitution as soon as possible.
Henry was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Juneau on Monday on four misdemeanor charges of willful failure to file income tax returns. The charges are only for Henry’s conduct between 2009 and 2012, although prosecutors say he admitted to relevant conduct dating back to 2004.
Last February, Henry pled guilty as part of an agreement reached between prosecutors and his attorney over nearly two years of negotiations.
Defense attorney Robert Bundy had asked that Henry be sentenced to eight months in prison while prosecutors wanted him to spend two years behind bars and pay a $50,000 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jack Schmidt noted in a sentencing memorandum that Henry “was not overly sophisticated in avoiding his tax responsibilities,” but he did file fraudulent financial disclosure reports with the Alaska Public Offices Commission that claimed no self-employment income over a thousand dollars for 2010 to 2012. The APOC case remains unresolved. Schmidt also noted that Henry received checks and deposits that were structured in order to hide his income.
Defense lawyer Bundy noted Henry’s 15 years of service with the Skagway City Council and Borough Assembly that included the position of Finance Committee chairman. Other community members also submitted letters and a video of support, noting Henry’s community involvement on education, senior and veterans’ issues.
U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Burgess on Monday ordered Henry to a year in prison for three charges to be served concurrently. For the fourth charge, Henry will spend a day in prison to be served consecutively to the other term.
Henry, whose current term on the Skagway Borough Assembly ends in Oct., 2017, must report to a federal prison facility by Nov. 1, 2016.