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Douglas Bruce indicted, arrested

Douglas Bruce today was arrested and indicted on felony tax evasion charges. Photo courtesy of Colorado Attorney General's office.

Take a poll on Douglas Bruce’s indictment at the end of this blog

Colorado Attorney General John Suthers announced today that the Statewide Grand Jury has returned an indictment against Douglas Bruce, 61,  of Colorado Springs,  failing to pay taxes on income he earned during the 2005, 2006 and 2007 tax years.

Bruce, best-known as the author of the Taxpayers Bill of Rights, or the TABOR Amendment, was arrested at 1:03 p.m. today by the Colorado Springs Police Department at the U.S. Post Office at 4300 Montbello Drive, in Colorado Springs, according to the Attorney General’s Office. Later, he posted a $10,000 bond and was released from the El Paso County Jail, the AG’s office said.

According to the four-count indictment, Bruce is suspected of attempting to evade his tax responsibilities by funneling his income into the coffers of Active Citizens Together, a nonprofit he created in 2001, and failing to report such income to the Department of Revenue. Bruce is suspected of filing a false tax return on income he earned during the 2005 tax year and failing to file a tax return concerning income he earned during the 2006 and 2007 tax years.

Real estate loan

Part of the charges stem from a real estate loan, according to the indictment. The indictment said that the grand jury found that Bruce failed to include additional income from a $388,233.56 payoff of an interest-only real estate loan as part of his 2005 return. It goes on to say that the 2005 income realized from that loan included unpaid interest of $17,500, other interest of $5,983.56 and late fees of $4,200.

“Moreover, the Grand Jury learned that on multiple occasions between 2005 and 2009, Mr. Bruce received loan payments that included interest income which he failed to include on any state or federal tax forms,” according to the indictment.

“State law requires that citizens who live in Colorado and enjoy all of the benefits of being a resident pay the appropriate taxes,” Suthers said.  “No one is exempt from that obligation.”

According to the indictment, Bruce is suspected of:

  • Evasion of taxes administered by the Colorado Department of Revenue, a class-five felony.
  • Filing a false tax return, a class-five felony.
  • Attempt to influence a public servant, a class-four felony.
  • Failure to file a return or pay a tax, a misdemeanor offense.

Six years in prison possible

Bruce could face up to six years in prison or up to $500,000 in fines if convicted of attempt to influence a public servant, a class-four felony.

The Colorado Department of Revenue investigated and referred this case to the Office of the Attorney General for presentation to the Statewide Grand Jury. The grand jury returned the indictment on April 7. Prosecutors for the Office of the Attorney General will present the state’s case against Bruce in Denver District Court.

In addition to being a anti-tax advocate and a long-time real estate investor, Bruce has served as a state representative in Colorado Springs, a county commissioner, precinct committeeman, and a county and state assembly delage.

“I am a pro-life, traditional values, social and fiscal conservative – a Reagan Republican,” he wrote on his Web site. “I make this firm, no loophole pledge: I will never vote to raise your taxes, put your family into debt, or take away your tax refunds.(bold phase emphasis his.)” Bruce could not immediately be reached for comment.

When I learned Douglas Bruce had been indicted I was

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