Gavel photo courtesy of www.weisspaarz.com via Flickr

An El Cajon man pleaded guilty Wednesday to federal bank fraud and tax evasion charges for failing to report nearly $500,000 in income to the IRS, as well as taking part in a scheme to fraudulently obtain a mortgage for his $1.8 million home.

David Daughtrey, 60, is slated to be sentenced Nov. 16 and has agreed to pay more than $1 million in restitution to the IRS, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Prosecutors say Daughtrey omitted at least $498,612 in income on his 2012 tax return, then failed to report his total income each year between 2013 and 2015, and did not file timely tax returns in subsequent years.

“People who cheat on their taxes are cheating all other law-abiding taxpayers,” said U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer. “Mr. Daughtrey blatantly disregarded his tax obligations for years. The defendant not only abused the tax system for his own financial benefit, but conspired to commit bank fraud in order to maintain this lifestyle.”

Daughtrey’s plea also came with admissions to having another person submit a mortgage application to Wells Fargo for his $1.8 million five-bedroom home. Daughtrey then made monthly mortgage payments on the home, while the bank believed the third party owned the house.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Daughtrey later submitted a false hardship letter on that person’s behalf in an attempt to get the terms of the loan modified.

“Honest Americans’ compliance with the tax laws is imperative. Rather than pay his fair share, David Daughtrey chose to live lavishly, while intentionally failing to report his true income and evading the payment of over $400,000 in taxes,” said Ryan L. Korner, Special Agent in Charge of the IRS Criminal Investigation unit.

— City News Service