A self-employed New Mexico tax preparer has been sentenced to six months in prison and six months of home confinement for failing to file tax returns for four years in a row.

A U.S. District Judge sentenced Steven Massoth, 55, a self-employed tax return preparer who resides in Moriarty, N.M., on Wednesday after he was convicted of willful failure to file federal tax returns. The judge also ordered Massoth to pay a $1,000 fine. Massoth is required to surrender to a federal correctional facility to be designated by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons within 60 days to begin serving his prison sentence.

Massoth was charged in a four-count indictment on April 13, 2011, alleging that he failed to file federal tax returns between 2004 and 2007. Prosecutors and the IRS Criminal Investigations Division claimed that during that period, Massoth and his spouse received gross income of $206,647 in 2004, $165,043 in 2005, $178,234 in 2006, and $200,681 in 2007.

Massoth pled guilty last July to all four counts of the indictment. In his plea agreement, Massoth admitted that on April 15, 2004; April 15, 2005; April 15, 2006 and April 15, 2007, he willfully failed to file tax returns with the IRS, and that he was aware that he was obligated to file tax returns on his income.

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