Criminal Justice

Lawyer convicted on tax charges; prosecutors say he paid for cars and vacations while hiding assets

A California lawyer has been convicted on tax charges following an 11-day trial in which prosecutors claimed he spent money on luxury goods while ignoring his tax obligations.

Donald Wanland, described as a “prominent Sacramento attorney” by the Sacramento Bee, was convicted on Thursday. The Bee and the El Dorado Hills Telegraph have stories. He was convicted on 28 counts, including attempted tax evasion, failing to file tax returns, and concealing assets from the Internal Revenue Service.

Prosecutors alleged that Wanland filed returns showing he owed taxes of more than $400,000 for 2000 to 2003, but he paid nothing and concealed bank accounts when the IRS tried to collect. He is also accused of failing to file tax returns for 2004 through 2007, even though he earned more than $1 million during that time period.

Prosecutors said that, instead of paying his taxes, Wanland spent money on a Mercedes and a Cadillac, and vacations at a California ski resort and in Mexico, Hawaii and Las Vegas.

Wanland’s lawyer, Eduardo Roy, argued in a motion for his client’s release on bail that Wanland “spends much of his free time attending church-related activities.”

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