- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 8, 2007

A decorated Metropolitan Police Department detective will be arraigned today on tax evasion, fraud and other felony charges after federal authorities said he failed to pay taxes on more than $180,000 in city earnings in 2005.

Detective Michael Irving faces up to 40 years in prison if convicted of violating D.C. tax laws under the indictment pending in federal court in the District, according to the Justice Department.

The detective also is accused of evading taxes in 2002 and 2003, when he earned more than $150,000 each year, and in 2004, when he was paid $136,962, according to charging documents.

On Monday, Detective Irving, a member of the department since 1989 who was promoted to detective in 1996, referred questions to his defense attorney, David Schertler.

Mr. Schertler said his client will “absolutely” plead not guilty at his arraignment.

“We dispute the charges,” he said. “Our position is that Michael Irving never did anything that was criminal and never intended to do anything that was criminal.”

Mr. Schertler added that his client’s mistakes concerning income taxes “were just that: mistakes.”

Metropolitan Police did not return phone messages about the status of Detective Irving’s employment.

The indictment, filed by the Justice Department on April 24, states that Detective Irving “engaged in a scheme and systematic course of conduct with the intent to defraud.”

If convicted, he faces up to 25 years in prison and $250,000 in fines on federal charges, and up to 40 years in prison if convicted on the D.C. charges, authorities said.

In addition, prosecutors said, Detective Irving filed fraudulent tax-return claims with the District and Internal Revenue Service for tens of thousands of dollars in refunds. In 2002, he filed a claim for a $10,534 refund and “falsely reported” that he had no income that year, according to the charges.

The IRS and the D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue conducted an investigation into Detective Irving’s earnings.

From 2002 to 2005, Detective Irving earned an average of $156,559 annually. His compensation for 2005, $181,913, ranked him among the most highly paid employees in the District. By comparison, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty makes $200,000 a year, Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray makes $190,000, and D.C. Council members make $122,530 under a recently approved pay raise. Last year, 43 D.C. police officers earned more than $150,000, mostly because of overtime.

Detective Irving is the third Metropolitan Police detective to come under federal criminal charges in the past two months.

In March, Detectives Milagros Morales and Erick Brown were indicted on conspiracy and obstruction-of-justice charges that they tried to pressure witnesses to give false statements in connection with a fatal stabbing at Club U nightclub in 2005.

Based for years in the police department’s 5th District, Detective Irving has investigated several high-profile cases, including the shooting deaths in 2000 of a Wilson High School football star and his girlfriend.

He also received several awards from the U.S. attorney’s office for his work in solving violent crimes, including a 1999 murder-for-hire scheme and a series of fatal shootings from 1995 to 1998.

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