Retired Automobile Mogul Jimmy Pflueger will be back in federal court Thursday on tax fraud charges.
The prosecution will wrap up its case Thursday after the defense cross examined the prosecution’s final witness, an IRS agent.
The prosecution claims Jimmy Pflueger used business assets for personal gain, falsely reported his income on his tax returns in Hawaii and California and hid his assets overseas.
Nancy Pflueger, Jimmy Pflueger’s estranged wife, testified in court yesterday that Pflueger paid all of her personal expenses after her bills were sent to the car dealerships – either Pflueger Acura or Pflueger Honda – and that Pflueger had their joint tax returns prepared without her knowledge or signature on them.
Pflueger’s tax accountant, Dennis Duban, previously testified that Pflueger signed Nancy Pflueger’s name for her on their tax returns.
But in a twist, the defense may call a handwriting expert to claim Pflueger’s signature was forged on some of the documents the IRS flagged as suspicious.
The defense plans to call several well-known people to the stand to testify on Pflueger’s behalf including former state Senator Fred Hemmings and former City Council Member John Desoto. Charles Alan Pflueger, Jimmy Pflueger’s son, is on the defense’s witness list as is Jimmy Pflueger himself.
Jimmy Pflueger maintains he is innocent and blames his accountant and dealership staff for the tax fraud. However, four people have already pled guilty in the case, including Jimmy Pflueger’s son Charles Alan, who now owns and runs the Pflueger dealership empire, and the Pfluegers’ accountant Dennis Duban.
One of the major charges brought by the prosecution alleges Jimmy Pflueger hid nearly $15 million in a Swiss bank account to protect his assets after he was sued over the breach of his Ka Loko Dam in 2006, which killed 7 people.
Donna Montgomery, an accountant who worked at Dennis Duban’s firm on Pflueger’s accounts, said he was worth more than $71 million in 2007 – that was when he was sued by those who lost loved ones and property in the breach.
Pflueger still has not paid the civil settlement he agreed to more than a year ago, claiming he is short of cash, and he has asked the plaintiffs’ attorneys for another year extension. The settlement is less than a third of the money once held in his Swiss bank account in his Vista Pacifica Trust for 20 months from 2007 to 2009.
For the full report on the case, see