A long-time University Place tax accountant and tax preparer was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to two years of probation and $146,226 in restitution for tax evasion. 

Joseph J. Doria, 70, pleaded guilty to falsifying his tax returns in 2007, 2008 and 2009. He submitted fraudulent tax returns that understated his income and overstated his expenses. 

Doria blamed a gambling addiction for his decision to cheat on his taxes. At sentencing, U.S. District Judge Benjamin H. Settle made treatment with Gamblers Anonymous part of the probationary sentence.

According to records filed in the case, the fraud came to light during an IRS audit of Doria’s returns in 2011.  The total tax loss over the three year period was $146,226.

Prosecutors noted that from his work as a tax accountant and tax preparer for more than 35 years, DORIA knew the wrongful nature of his conduct. 

“Notably, he also knew that there were alternatives to falsifying these tax returns. Based on his background in tax preparation and accounting, Mr. Doria no doubt was fully aware that if he did not have the ability to pay his taxes,” the prosecutor said, “he could have approached the Internal Revenue Service and sought relief. Mr. Doria could have sought an offer and compromise to provide him with more time to pay his taxes and/or a reduction in his total tax liability. Despite this and other options, Mr. Doria chose the most dishonest solution to his problem: he falsified his tax returns.”

The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Lawrence Lincoln.