Utah AG Office Press Room

A.G.’S OFFICE FIGHTS TAX FRAUD APPEAL OF DUCHESNE DEVELOPERS

For Immediate Release
August 27, 2013
The Utah Attorney General’s Office will argue against criminal and civil appeals filed by a Duchesne couple who were convicted on tax charges for failing to pay nearly $1 million in state taxes.  Frank “Joe” and Joan Steed were ordered to jail and pay restitution after they were convicted by a jury of felony tax charges and pattern of unlawful activity.
The Utah Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on both appeals on September 3.  The criminal appeal claims the jury did not have sufficient evidence to convict the Steeds and their rights were violated because of what the state and defense expert witnesses were allowed to say in court. Assistant Attorney General Andrew Peterson will argue the Steeds’ appeal provided no proof about the lack of evidence at the trial and their rights were not violated by the testimonies of the expert witnesses.
In their civil appeal, the Steeds claim the state did not have the right to freeze their bank assets to pay any potential restitution or fines. Assistant Attorney General Brent Burnett will argue the civil claim is moot because the frozen assets were used to pay for the criminal restitution and the rest of the money was returned.
The Steeds received $20 million between 2003 and 2006 while developing a 5,000-acre subdivision in Duchesne County.  During the trial, evidence showed they tried to avoid paying taxes by dealing in large amounts of cash, holding funds in third-party names and making numerous transfers between their different businesses.
What:  Oral Arguments in State of Utah vs. Joan A. Steed and Frank J. Steed
When: 9:00 a.m., Tuesday, September 3, 2013, Criminal Appeal
            9:30 a.m., Tuesday, September 3, 2013, Civil Appeal
Where: Utah Supreme Court, Matheson Courthouse, 450 S. State, Salt Lake City
Photos: Jail booking photos can be found here http://1.usa.gov/mtpZdW.
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