Naples Man?s Conviction for Tax Theft Affirmed

June 2, 2011

AUGUSTA ? A Naples man?s conviction for tax related theft was affirmed by the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, Attorney General William J. Schneider announced today.

Michael A. Skarbinski, age 50, appealed from a judgment of conviction entered in the Cumberland County Superior Court, following a jury trial in March 2010. Superior Court Justice Roland Beaudoin found Skarbinski guilty of one count of theft by deception (Class C); two counts of criminal attempted theft by deception (Class D); and three counts of making and subscribing false tax returns (Class D).

Skarbinski filed requests for tax refunds claiming no taxable income for the years 2005, 2006 and 2007 when he and his wife had earned between $80,000 and $130,000 in taxable income per year. Skarbinski contended at trial that the salaries he and his wife earned as professionals at local area hospitals simply were not taxable. By falsely claiming zero taxable income in 2007, Skarbinski received a refund for that tax year of nearly $4,000. His two other attempts at refunds were detected and denied by Maine Revenue Services.

?All Maine taxpayers bear the responsibility for paying their fair share under state tax laws,? said Attorney General Schneider. ?We will continue to work with Maine Revenue Services to pursue and prosecute anyone who attempts to falsify tax returns or obtain tax refunds through deception.?

Skarbinski was sentenced to 12 months in jail with all but 45 days suspended followed by two years of probation. He had been free on bail pending his appeal. In addition, he was ordered to pay restitution of the $3,780 refund, file his amended tax returns and pay the required taxes.

This case was investigated by the Maine Revenue Services? Criminal Investigations Unit. Assistant Attorney General Gregg D. Bernstein handled this matter for Attorney General Schneider?s Financial Crimes and Civil Rights Division.

CONTACT: Brenda L. Kielty (207) 626-8577