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Texan Who Fled to Canada Gets Prison Over US Taxes

Lesly ordered to pay restitution, spend three years in jail

Wednesday, Jul 18, 2012  |  Updated 11:18 AM CDT
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Texan Who Fled to Canada Gets Prison Over US Taxes

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A Texas lawyer who fled to Canada to avoid paying U.S. income taxes must serve more than three years in prison.

A federal judge in Amarillo on Tuesday sentenced John Lewis Lesly and ordered him to pay more than $847,000 in restitution.

Investigators say Lesly had not filed an income tax return since 1976. He pleaded guilty in April to four counts of failure to file tax returns from 1999 through 2002. Lesly had more than $2.7 million in income during that time frame.

Prosecutors believe the Amarillo attorney fled to Canada in October 2005, one month before he was indicted. Internal Revenue Service agents in February arrested Lesly at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

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