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Thomas W. Quintin sentenced for fuel tax evasion and mail fraud

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 26, 2004

THOMAS W. QUINTIN SENTENCED FORFUEL TAX EVASION AND MAIL FRAUD

DENVER. John W. Suthers, United States Attorney for the District of Colorado, and Terry L. Stuart, Special Agent in Charge of the IRS Criminal Investigation Division, Denver Field Office, announced that THOMAS W. QUINTIN, age 57, was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Judge Wiley Y. Daniel to serve 51 months in federal prison for defrauding the federal government as well as the states of Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska by not paying excise fuel tax. QUINTIN was also ordered by Judge Daniel to pay $14,125,365 in restitution to the federal government (IRS) and the states of Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska. QUINTIN also has to pay a $5,650 special assessment. On June 3, 2004 QUINTIN pled guilty to 15 counts of tax evasion and 98 counts of mail fraud. He was indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver on March 7, 1996.

According to the plea agreement, from approximately 1989 through 1993 QUINTIN operated a motor fuel distribution system including wholesale supply and retail sales outlets. The wholesale fuel supply business was operated utilizing two corporations, Max Oil, Inc. and Pit Stops of America, Inc. The retail sales operation consisted of more than 20 truck stops on major Interstate highways and convenience store retail fuel outlets in Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska. These corporations, which operated the retail sales outlets, included Pit Stops of America, Pit Stops of Denver, Inc., Rodeo Pit Stops of Wyoming, Inc., Big Springs Oil, Inc., and HRM Enterprises, Inc. Through these corporations, QUINTIN engaged in a scheme to evade federal diesel fuel excise taxes, and to evade state fuel taxes utilizing the United States mail in Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska.

The wholesale companies were able to obtain federal and state licenses to purchase fuel from suppliers free from state and federal taxes. After obtaining the fuel from the suppliers of his companies, the defendant would then deliver the fuel to his retail outlets, which in turn sold it to the public. The purchase price paid by the motoring public included state and federal taxes. The delivery and sale of gasoline and diesel fuel to the retail outlets were taxable events which were required to be accurately reported to the states of Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska as well as to the federal government. QUINTIN under reported and underpaid the amount of taxes due to the states and federal government.

On March 31, 1993 the government obtained search warrants for 13 locations. At that time the State of Colorado seized all of QUINTIN's Colorado gas stations. QUINTIN, along with his wife, were in fugitive status in the Cayman Islands and later in Canada before being arrested by the Toronto Police Department in 1998. QUINTIN was extradited from Canada to face criminal charges in the United States. The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, and the U.S. Department of Transportation Inspector General's Office in cooperation with the Colorado and Nebraska Departments of Revenue and the Wyoming Department of Transportation.

"Tax fraud in the motor fuels industry is an area of grave concern for the IRS. The prosecution of individuals who intentionally conceal income and evade motor fuel excise taxes is a vital element in maintaining public confidence in our tax system," said Terry L. Stuart, IRS Criminal Investigations Special Agent in Charge.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert Brown. U.S. Attorney John Suthers praised Brown's tenacity in pursuing this case. "The defendant was brought to justice thanks to the hard work of the IRS and the countless hours invested by Robert Brown," Mr. Suthers said.