GULFPORT, Miss. –A Mississippi doctor is facing time behind bars for using a phony Utah church as a shelter to avoid paying taxes.
Pass Christian orthopedic surgeon Timothy Jackson was found guilty this week of four counts of felony tax evasion and one count of obstructing an IRS law.
Prosecutors said Jackson took a vow of poverty in 2003 with the “Church of Compassionate Service” and claimed that as the church’s minister, he was exempt from paying any income tax. They argued that despite his vow of “poverty,” Jackson made a substantial income practicing medicine and only used the church filing as a scheme to avoid paying taxes for over 10 years. The IRS estimated he owed more than $650,000 in taxes from 2006-2009 alone.
Jackson will be sentenced December 18. He faces up to five years and a $250,000 fine for each count of tax evasion, and another three years in prison and a $250,000 fine for obstructing the IRS.