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Publisher sent to prison in tax case

The former publisher of a small group of newspapers in Contra Costa County pleaded guilty today to filing false income tax returns and was sentenced to five months in prison, according to federal prosecutors.

Harry Warren Green, 52, was the operator of a group of papers including the Clayton Pioneer, Brentwood Bee, Bethel Islander, and the Oakley Herald.

Green admitted in his plea that he under-reported $400,000 in income that he received while operating these newspapers, according to a statement from U.S. Attorney Joseph P. Russoniello and Scott O’Briant, special agent in charge, IRS Criminal Investigation Unit.

Green failed to account for all of the income received while operating those businesses, real estate commissions he received, and income received from the sale of the Clayton Pioneer newspaper in 2003, according to prosecutors.

Green cashed the checks, rather than depositing the funds, so his bank account did not reflect the income, according to prosecutors. 

Green’s intent to conceal the income for the express purpose of evading payment of federal taxes was confirmed by a bank employee and one of his co-workers, according to prosecutors.

Judge Sandra Brown Armstrong sentenced Green to five-months of incarceration, five-months of community confinement and ordered him to make $75,005 in restitution for filing false tax returns and pay a $2,000 fine. 

Green is ordered to surrender on or before June 4.

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