S.W. Washington developer gets 11 years for tax evasion

Bontrager was involved in Vancouver Wal-Mart deal



SEATTLE (AP) — A federal judge has sentenced a Western Washington real estate developer to 11 years in prison for making false statements and evading taxes on more than $23 million in income.

Winston Bontrager, 64, and his longtime girlfriend, Pauline Anderson, 65, were convicted in July of scheming to avoid paying $2.7 million in taxes. Both were sentenced Friday; Anderson got a little more than three years in prison.

Bontrager had already been convicted of fraud twice — once in 1983, and again in 1994, the second time for cheating the Oregon Public Employees Retirement System and the IRS out of $687,000. After he was released from prison in the late ’90s, he became involved in real estate deals to develop a Legacy Health Systems hospital and a Wal-Mart store in Vancouver.

He got rich, but prosecutors said he refused to pay his taxes or restitution.