Ashland man pleads guilty to tax evasion

Feb. 22—An Ashland man who worked overseas for an international company that contracted with the federal government could face as much as five years in prison after admitting that he hid more than $1.8 million of income over the past decade from his accountant, and thus evaded more than a half-million dollars in taxes.

Charles D. Squires pleaded guilty to a charge of tax evasion last week in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., according to a press release issued last week by the U.S. Department of Justice. The company is not named in any court documents, or in the news release.

According to a statement signed by Squires that was filed in the case Wednesday, Squires had worked in London and Dubai between 2003 and 2012 as the chief operations officer for a company that operated in Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan, that contracted with the U.S. Department of Defense.

Squires returned to Oregon in the spring of 2012, but he continued to work as a consultant for the company and receive payment from it. In 2012, the Department of Justice estimates that Squires failed to report more than $600,000 in income.

In early 2015, Squires spent six months as acting CEO of the company.

Squires had most of his income sent by wire transfer to domestic bank accounts in Oregon, according to the statement of offense, but he also got tens of thousands of dollars in "in country" payments.

He also arranged wire transfers between the company and a contractor working on his properties in Oregon, and a wire transfer between the company and a bank "to pay off a mortgage loan held by Squires and his spouse."

Between 2010 and 2019, Squires reportedly filed false and fraudulent tax returns.

"Despite specific questions each year by his return preparers about his income, Squires provided false and incomplete information to them about the amount of the salary and bonus from [the company] for each of the years," according to the statement.

Squires was indicted last month following an investigation by the IRS, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, along with aid from the Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement, which combines the taxing authorities of Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the U.S.

The U.S. Attorney's office claims that the total additional tax due is $666,080. As terms of the plea agreement, Squires will have to repay that amount.

The maximum penalty is five years in prison and a fine of $250,000. The U.S. Attorney's Office said it intends to seek a sentence between 24 and 30 months, and a fine between $10,000 and $95,000, according to the plea agreement.

Reach web editor Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or Follow him on Twitter @MTwebeditor.