Dale Wolfe accepts plea bargain on income tax case

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 1, 2005


Staff Reporter

LAPLACE – St. John the Baptist Parish Councilman Richard “Dale” Wolfe pled guilty Tuesday to four counts of failing to file state tax returns in a plea bargain arranged by the state attorney general’s office and State Rep. Bobby Faucheux, D-LaPlace.

After four felony charges were dropped, Wolfe pled guilty Tuesday morning to four misdemeanor charges, agreeing he failed to file tax returns from the year 2000 through the year 2003.

Wolfe stood before Judge Mary Hotard Becnel Tuesday morning in state district court in Edgard.

Judge Mary Hotard Becnel sentenced Wolfe to a six-month parish prison term for each count and specified the sentences were to run concurrent with one another. Becnel then suspended the sentence and placed Wolfe on a two-year bench probation, making the parish councilman directly accountable to her.

Three conditions are attached to Wolfe’s probation. They require Wolfe to:

€ maintain full-time employment

€ provide copies of both his federal and state tax returns (complete with schedules and work sheets) for tax years 1995 through 1998 within 60 days.

€ communicate openly, honestly and in a timely manner with the Louisiana Department of Revenue and Taxation (In attempting to collect past due taxes from Defendant Richard Dale Wolfe, the defense must file a copy of Wolfe’s income tax.)

Last year, Faucheux said his client filed and paid state withholding taxes including interest and penalties for 1995, 1996, 1997 and 1998.

Faucheux said Wolfe partially paid state tax obligations for the years 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002.

He maintained an accounting error was possibly made by an accountant filing Wolfe’s taxes from 1999 to 2002 and said the State Department of Revenue was recalculating Wolfe’s taxes for those years.

Faucheux said the recalculations were be completed in 30-60 days – which should have ended in November or December 2004.

He did not return phone calls in January, requesting the outcome of the recalculations.

Wolfe was originally indicted on four felony charges for four counts of failure to file state income tax returns and on four felony counts of theft for allegedly misappropriating money in excess of $300.

At the St. John the Baptist Council meeting Tuesday night Wolfe thanked God for the outcome of his trial and thanked his friends for standing by him.

He said he was just a little late paying his taxes.