Sedona Couple Sentenced to Prison in 2009 Tax Evasion, Conspiracy Case

We never thought we'd say this, but this Sedona couple could have learned a thing or two from Wesley Snipes.

William Steiniger and his wife Diane Steiniger were convicted on tax evasion and conspiracy charges in 2009, and were sentenced Thursday to prison terms of a combined 50 months.


U.S. District Judge Mary H. Murguia handed down sentences of 42 months in prison for William, and eight months in prison followed by six months of home confinement for Diane.

The Steinigers, operators of the Desert Canyon Treatment Center -- a drug rehab facility in Sedona -- were convicted in December 2009 of four counts of tax evasion and one count of conspiracy to impede or impair the Internal Revenue Service.

The U.S. Attorney's office says the couple funneled incomes from their rehab joint into sham entities, one of which was located in Belize.

Neither of the Steinigers paid federal income taxes between 1997 and 2005, with the value of taxes owed between 2002 and 2005 valued at more than $390,000.

In a statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office, Dawn Mertz, the Special Agent in Charge of the Phoenix Field Office, IRS Criminal Investigation, says "justice is served."

"The creation of various entities was nothing more than a sham to disguise their intent to evade the payment of taxes," Mertz says. "The sentence imposed by the judge should send a strong message to those who believe our tax system is unconstitutional."

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