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  • Writer's pictureDennis McCaslin

Grand jury in Fort Smith indicts Centerton woman for falsely claiming exemption from income tax

A federal grand jury in Fort Smith returned an indictment yesterday charging an Arkansas woman with evading her federal income taxes and failing to file income tax returns.

According to the indictment, Kristine J. Collins, of Centerton, did not file individual income tax returns for 2017 through 2022, despite earning sufficient income requiring her to do so. Collins was allegedly employed by a company as a senior manager in asset protection, responsible for protecting the company against internal fraud and theft.

The indictment alleges that Collins supplied her employer with employee withholding certificates (Forms W-4) falsely claiming she was exempt from federal income tax withholding each year. In August 2022, when questioned by IRS special agents conducting a criminal investigation into her failure to file tax returns, she allegedly made several false statements.

In approximately March 2023, Collins allegedly filed another false Form W-4 claiming exemption from income tax withholding for 2023. During the years covered in the indictment, Collins allegedly earned gross income in excess of $750,000.

If convicted, Collins faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison on each tax evasion count and one year in prison for each tax return count. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney David Clay Fowlkes for the Western District of Arkansas made the announcement.

IRS Criminal Investigation is investigating the case.

Trial Attorney Andres Chinchilla and Assistant Chief Greg Tortella of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Carly Marshall for the Western District of Arkansas are prosecuting the case.

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