Former Maui resident Michael Eric Stewart was sentenced this week to a two-year prison term for evading taxes on income earned from his former Maui-based mortgage company.
Hawaii U.S. District Judge Susan Oki Mollway also ordered Stewart to pay restitution to the IRS, with the government setting the amount owed at $476,265.
According to a plea agreement in the case, Stewart, 73, failed to file income tax returns from 2001 to 2006 while earning "a substantial amount of income from soliciting mortgage loans" through Infinity Mortgage Co. Maui.
Instead of paying income taxes, Stewart between 2001 and 2006 transferred $788,000 in income from his mortgage business into a Nevada bank account. Then, from February 2007 to September of the same year, he transferred $345,500 from the Nevada account to a Maui bank account and wrote checks to himself totaling more than $280,000, according to the U.S. Attorney's Hawaii district office.
Stewart earlier this year was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of tax evasion and attempting to hide money from the IRS. He pleaded guilty in September to attempting to evade taxes, and as part of his plea agreement, the U.S. Attorney's Office agreed to dismiss a charge of structuring transactions to evade reporting requirements.
Stewart, who had been living on Maui, left the U.S. and moved to Panama City in 2008.
Court records show that he was arrested in Panama in July and arraigned the following month in Honolulu.