|For Immediate Release
September 5th, 2003
|Contact:||Susan Kang Schroeder
Deputy District Attorney
(714) 347-8408 (O)
(714) 292-2718 (C)
STATE TAX EVASION CHARGES FILED ON HIGH-TECH EXECUTIVE AND WIFE
Santa Ana – The owner of multi-million dollar, electronics companies in Orange County and his wife were arrested today by Franchise Tax Board (FTB) investigators on felony charges of state income tax evasion. George “Nick” Jesson Jr., 52, has urged others to not pay income taxes in national advertisements
Nick Jesson, owner of three Orange County electronics companies –CD Electronics, Capacitor Specialists International, and No Time Delay Electronics, Inc. located in Huntington Beach, is charged with six (6) felony counts of filing false tax returns and faces eight (8) years and four (4) months in state prison if convicted of all charges. Trina Jesson, 40, is charged with four (4) felony counts of filing false tax returns and faces seven (7) years in state prison if convicted of all charges.
The Jessons are accused of failing to report nearly $3 million in income for 1997, 1998 and 1999 on their state income tax returns. They are accused of owing the state more than $500,000 in delinquent income taxes, penalties, and cost of investigation. According to FTB investigators, the Jessons falsely filed joint tax returns reporting zero income and zero tax due, a tactic commonly used by tax ‘protesters’.
“California has ‘zero tolerance’ for suspected tax cheats who use frivolous arguments or illegal tax shelters,” said State Controller and FTB Chair Steve Westly. “Tax evasion is not a ‘victimless’ crime. It costs every honest, taxpaying citizen who supports this state.”
“No one is above the law and everyone is required to pay his or her fair share of taxes. Otherwise, we are forced to increase the burden on the citizens who do follow the law,” said Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas. “Mr. Jesson
has made himself the final arbiter of the Constitution and the law, despite countless legal authorities stating the contrary. Mr. Jesson is not only choosing to personally break the law, but he is going one step further by encouraging others to do the same.”
Nick Jesson has participated in paid advertisements with “We the People for Constitutional Education,” a tax ‘protester’ organization that contends that paying taxes is not required in the United States. This group believes that taxes are unconstitutional, currency is not money since the United States abandoned the gold standard, wages are not income, etc. This group has purchased full-page advertisements in nationwide newspapers like USA Today to encourage others to stop paying taxes.
Senior Deputy District Attorney William Overtoom has been assigned to prosecute this case. Bail was set at $250,000 for each defendant.