Anti-tax crusader Bruce avoids prison time in tax evasion case
DENVER — Douglas Bruce, the former state lawmaker who authored Colorado’s so-called Taxpayer Bill of Rights, was sentenced to 180 days in county jail and six years of probation Monday for failing to pay income tax for three years.
Bruce faced the possibility of 12 years in prison and fines amounting to $750,000. Instead, the judge spared him a lengthy prison sentence but ordered him to serve consecutive 90-day sentences in Denver County Jail. He was also ordered pay $29,000 in restitution.
Bruce will begin serving his jail sentence on Friday.
Throughout his trial, prosecutors argued that Bruce evaded his tax responsibilities by funneling his income through a non-profit that he created in 2001 called Active Citizens Together, and failing to report that income to the Department of Revenue.
“They will be able to get to have my body but they will not have my soul,” Bruce told reporters. “There have been other political prisoners in the history of the United States and of the world, so if they want to put me in that company it is unwillingly a compliment to my political effectiveness and integrity.”
“We hope the jail sentence serves as a wake-up call…an incentive to Mr. Bruce to not try the patience of the court and not end up in the Department of Corrections,” said Assistant Attorney General Robert Shapiro.