Federal Government Fraud investigations
FILE PHOTO: The U.S. Department of Justice building is bathed in morning light at sunrise in Washington, U.S., February 14, 2020. REUTERS/Mary F. Calvert

A former San Diego resident who allegedly fled the United States more than 20 years ago to avoid being sentenced for tax crimes has been arrested, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Wednesday.

Federal authorities say Robin McPherson was apprehended and deported from Costa Rica so that he could be sentenced in the United States for tax evasion and conspiracy convictions he received in 2000.

McPherson, who was the president and co-owner of telemarketing company Continental Wireless Cable Inc., was convicted along with two co-defendants for evading taxes on profits the company earned, leading to a tax loss to the IRS of more than $1 million, according to a DOJ statement.

After he was convicted at trial, McPherson was ordered to appear for a March 2001 sentencing hearing, but instead fled the country, according to the DOJ.

“This defendant dodged both his taxes and his sentencing hearing,” U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman said. “Thanks to the FBI and Costa Rican authorities, he’ll now be held responsible for both.”

Officials say McPherson appeared in court earlier this week and his long-delayed sentencing is set to happen “at a later date.”

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, McPherson is also set to stand trial in Oregon federal court on fraud and money laundering charges. In that case, he’s accused of soliciting $1.2 million from investors for a fake Costa Rican real estate development project, then using the funds to pay for personal expenses, including his mortgage.

–City News Service