Former Washington developer convicted of failing to pay $2.7M in taxes

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A federal jury has convicted a former western Washington developer and his girlfriend of failing to pay taxes on more than $23 million in income, The Associated Press has reported.

Winston Bontrager previously served a three-year prison term for defrauding the Oregon Public Employees Retirement System and the IRS of more than $687,000 in the 1990s. The U.S. Attorney’s Office says that once he was released, he began working in commercial real estate development — and put most of the assets in the name of his girlfriend, Pauline Anderson, a hairdresser with no prior real estate experience, in an effort to hide his assets.

In addition to failing to pay $2.7 million in taxes, Bontrager was convicted of lying to federal officials about his ability to repay the victims of his 1994 conviction. Bontrager was involved in real estate deals to develop a Legacy Health Systems hospital and a Wal-Mart store in Vancouver.