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Ex-cop’s tax-evasion fraud convictions reversed on appeal | Duluth News Tribune | Duluth, Minnesota

Published December 18, 2012, 12:00 AM

Ex-cop’s tax-evasion fraud convictions reversed on appeal

The Minnesota Court of Appeals has reversed two convictions against a former Duluth police officer for willful failure to pay income taxes, but upheld his convictions for financially exploiting his late mother and for filing fraudulent tax returns.

By: Mark Stodghill, Duluth News Tribune

The Minnesota Court of Appeals has reversed two convictions against a former Duluth police officer for willful failure to pay income taxes, but upheld his convictions for financially exploiting his late mother and for filing fraudulent tax returns.

A St. Louis County jury last year found Timothy Campbell guilty of three counts of financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult, two counts of failure to remit personal income tax and two counts of filing a fraudulent personal income tax return.

Campbell was sentenced to six years’ supervised probation, 90 days in custody and ordered to pay his brother, Scott, also a retired Duluth police officer, $54,232 in restitution.

Scott Campbell reported his brother’s theft from their mother.

An investigative auditor with the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the state attorney general’s office alleged that Timothy Campbell took $107,686.29 from the savings and checking accounts of his mother, Lois, between February 2003 and September 2004. Campbell and his mother were joint tenants of the accounts. Lois Campbell was diagnosed with dementia in November 2002 and was considered a vulnerable adult. She died at 71 in 2004.

The case was filed against Campbell in February 2006. The attorney general’s office alleged that Campbell took most of his mother’s money in 2003, which he used to buy a new Subaru, pay expenses related to the construction of his home and to pad his personal savings and checking accounts. Campbell was a member of the Duluth Police Department from 1991 until retiring in 2005.

In a decision released Monday, the Court of Appeals overturned the two willful failure to pay income tax returns convictions, saying that the standard for willfulness is “the voluntary, intentional violation of a known legal duty.” The appeals court held that there was not sufficient evidence to convict Campbell of willful failure to pay taxes.

Timothy Campbell also contested the trial court’s imposition of concurrent sentences for the two tax offenses, arguing that they were committed during a single behavioral incident. The state agreed and conceded that issue. The matter has been sent back to the trial court to vacate two convictions and issue a corrected sentence.

Ex-cop’s tax-evasion fraud convictions reversed on appeal | Duluth News Tribune | Duluth, Minnesota.

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