- The Washington Times - Monday, March 5, 2007

Telecommunications executive Walter C. Anderson, called the biggest tax cheat in U.S. history by the Justice Department, would have to pay the D.C. government more than $40 million in restitution under a recent request by federal prosecutors in preparation for his upcoming sentencing.

According to a government memo, the D.C. government could have hired hundreds of additional police officers and teachers if Anderson had not evaded paying his city and federal income taxes.

“These taxes are the same funds that are needed to pay for the District’s schools, parks, roads programs and services,” the Justice Department wrote in a memo, filed Friday, seeking a 10-year prison term for Anderson.

Anderson, 55, has pleaded guilty to charges that he evaded $178 million in federal taxes and $42 million in D.C. taxes while using offshore accounts, drop boxes and post office boxes to conceal his residency in the District.

He will be sentenced March 20.

In its sentencing memo, the Justice Department said Anderson’s failure to pay taxes held serious consequences for city residents.

In 1999 alone, according to the memo, the $22.8 million that Anderson owed to the District could have paid for one or a combination of the following:

• The hiring of 430 police officers.

• The hiring of 700 new teachers.

• Health insurance, including immunizations and emergency services, for 14,000 uninsured children.

• Construction of six new senior wellness centers.

The government’s memo states that Anderson should pay the District $42.9 million in restitution, adding “the citizens of the District of Columbia deserve no less.”

A former MCI executive, Anderson used offshore bank accounts and corporations, including Gold & Appel Transfer in the Virgin Islands, to avoid paying taxes on $450 million he earned from 1995 to 1999, prosecutors said.

But restitution appears unlikely.

Anderson has said he doesn’t have enough money to hire a lawyer. He is being represented by an assistant federal public defender, Michelle Peterson.

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