Federal courthouse
Federal courthouse in downtown San Diego. Photo by Chris Stone

A former San Diego resident who fled the United States more than 20 years ago to avoid being sentenced for tax crimes pleaded guilty this week to a federal bail jumping charge.

Robin McPherson was slated to appear for a March 2001 sentencing hearing following his convictions for tax evasion and conspiracy, but instead fled the country, according to the Department of Justice.

McPherson, who was the president and co-owner of La Jolla-based 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.

He was apprehended in Costa Rica last year.

In addition to the bail jumping charge, McPherson pleaded guilty Thursday to attempted tax evasion and wire fraud charges in two unrelated cases.

According to court documents, the attempted tax evasion stems from taxes McPherson and a co-defendant tried to evade in 1999 and 2000.

The wire fraud charge stems from a case in which prosecutors say that between 2016 and 2022, McPherson solicited investor funds for a fake Costa Rican real estate development project, then used the funds to pay for personal expenses. Investor funds were wired to a bank in Oregon, which were then wired to Costa Rica, according to court documents.

Prosecutors allege in court documents that “dozens” of investors were defrauded, resulting in about $1.5 million in losses.

McPherson is slated to be sentenced in all four cases later this year.