Jack Stephen Pursley, a.k.a Steve Pursley has been convicted in an offshore tax evasion scheme. After a four day trial, he was convicted of one count of conspiracy to defraud the US and three counts of tax evasion.
Mr Pursley was friends with Shaun Mooney from college at Texas Christian University. Mr Mooney ran a company that, until 2009, provided personnel services to clients who owned offshore oil rigs, primarily in the Middle East. However, Mr Mooney had a problem. He had $18 million held in an offshore bank account in the Isle of Man. He wanted to remit it back to the US without paying tax on it.
Mooney and Pursley created a company in which Mooney owned 76% and Pursley 24%. Mr Pursley used that company to transfer the money back to the US. He disguised the transfers as stock purchases in US corporations that they owned. Mr Pursley evaded taxes by claiming the withdrawal of funds were non-taxable loans and returns of capital.
At trial, the government proved that Mr Pursley received more than $4.8 million and didn’t pay taxes on this income between 2007 and 2010. Instead he used the money to buy two houses in Houston and a vacation home in Vail, Colorado.
Court documents suggested that Mooney provoked the federal investigation when he disclosed the tax scheme to the authorities in 2013 under the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program.
Sentencing will occur in December. He faces a maximum of five years in prison for the conspiracy count and five years for each count of tax evasion. He also faces a period of supervised release, monetary penalties and restitution.