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57 Months for Ducking|Taxes on Ponzi Scam

SAN DIEGO (CN) - A 63-year-old Denver man was sentenced Monday to nearly five years in federal prison for ducking taxes on $4 million he got from a convicted Ponzi schemer.

Donald E. Lopez was sent straight to jail and ordered to pay $1,345,693 in restitution to the IRS, in addition to his 57-month sentence.

He had pleaded guilty to a one-count felon information charging him with willfully evading taxes on $3.94 he got from Ponzi operator Matthew La Madrid, and lying about it in court, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Madrid has been sentenced to 10 years in prison. The $3.94 million that Lopez spent on himself was part of $10 million that La Madrid sent to Lopez's company, to try to hide the results of La Madrid's fraud.

Lopez also has pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice for lying about the $10 million money transfer in a federal court case trying to recover the $10 million. Lopez served 15 months for that, before he was charged with tax evasion.

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