A Ponte Vedra Beach man was sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison after pleading guilty to income tax evasion, the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida said April 18.
Patrick Brian Hines was also ordered to pay $1.927 million in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service by Chief U.S. District Judge Timothy Corrigan.
Hines owned and operated a network of telecommunication entities that purchased the rights to specific 1-800 telephone numbers and charged consumers for directory assistance services, the U.S. Attorney said in a news release.
He dismantled the businesses after several lawsuits against the entities in 2011 and established a new company in 2012 under his wife’s name, it said.
From 2012 through 2018, “Hines used a system of nominee entities and individuals to conceal his assets and income,” it said.
The IRS sent Hines collection notices of unpaid taxes beginning as early as 2011, and he accrued penalties and interest of $1.927 million on his delinquent taxes, it said.
Hines pleaded guilty to the charges Nov. 2, 2022.
“For over a decade, Mr. Hines lied to the Internal Revenue Service, cheated the tax system, and stole from honest American taxpayers,” said Brian Payne IRS-CI Special Agent in Charge, in the news release.
“Mr. Hines’s attempts to conceal assets and income to evade taxes were unsuccessful and a tough lesson that came with significant consequences,” he said.