Four family members and a businessmen were sentenced to prison for their participation in a long-term, complex and concerted effort to avoid taxation. In October 2010, Chester A. Bitterman Jr. and his sons, Craig L. Bitterman, C. Grant Bitterman and Curtis L. Bitterman, were convicted of conspiracy to defraud the United States. Craig Bitterman was additionally convicted of obstruction of justice. Prior to sentencing, the defendants paid $437,000 in restitution to the IRS. The four were sentenced as follows: Chester A. Bitterman Jr. was sentenced to three years’ probation and ordered to pay a $5,000 fine; Craig L. Bitterman was sentenced to 36 months in prison and ordered to pay a $10,000 fine; C. Grant Bitterman was sentenced to 21 months in prison and ordered to pay a $7,500 fine; an Curtis L. Bitterman was sentenced to 21 months in prison and ordered to pay a $7,500 fine. From 1996 to 2005 the Bittermans owned and operated the Bitterman Scale Company. To conceal their income and assets from the IRS, the Bittermans used aliases, offshore bank accounts and a complex series of sham paper transactions to disguise income. The defendants transferred their personal and business assets to sham trusts purchased from the Commonwealth Trust Company, a tax protester organization that marketed trust products to clients for the purpose of avoiding federal income tax payment. The trusts were used to make it appear as though the defendants had little or no assets or income. In reality, the defendants retained complete access and control over their funds.
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