Poof! Space Travel and Tax Evasion

Speaking of stories that you just can’t make up, the tax evasion saga of Walter Anderson continues to amaze me. He was indicted last year on charges that he had evaded over $200m in federal taxes, in part by hiding $450m in earnings in various offshore accounts. Today he pleaded guilty and has to await sentencing.

The stuff that elevates this beyond mere centi-millionaire tax evasion is, however, in the details:

  • A search of his Washington, DC house turned up a book a called “Poof! How to Disappear and Create a New Identity”
  • He told prosecutors that he had always planned to use some of the funds for “privatization of space travel and exploration”. Ooooh, I didn’t realize that was a credible defence to tax evasion.
  • His lawyer argued he wasn’t at risk of fleeing before sentencing because “I know his mother is anxious for him to clean out the garage”. The Federal prison system apparently has nothing on a mom with a cluttered garage.