Grand jury indicts Jonesport man on a host of tax-related charges

Posted Feb. 08, 2010, at 8:56 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 11:47 a.m.

ELLSWORTH, Maine — A Jonesport man has been indicted on charges that he failed to file or pay state income tax returns for the past several years, according to a state official.

Jackie C. Fenton, 60, was indicted last week by a Hancock County grand jury on six tax-related charges, Assistant Attorney General Gregg Bernstein said Monday. Fenton is accused of failing to file or make tax returns in 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2008, and is accused of failing to pay his taxes in 2005, Bernstein said.

All charges are Class C felonies because Fenton has prior convictions for failing to file tax returns, according to the prosecutor. In 2004, he was convicted in Machias District Court on six Class D misdemeanor counts of failure to file or make tax returns, the prosecutor said.

Under Maine law, a Class C felony conviction is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

In 2004, Fenton was sentenced to serve nine months in jail with all but 20 days suspended on the misdemeanor tax violations. He also was ordered to pay $13,321, to serve one year of probation and to pay a fine of $1,000, according to previous reports in the Bangor Daily News.

Fenton works as a commercial fisherman, Bernstein said. He declined to indicate how much money Fenton allegedly owes to the Maine Revenue Services.

Even though Fenton lives in Washington County, he was indicted by the Hancock County grand jury through a little-used procedure that allows prosecutors with the state Attorney General’s Office to present cases in neighboring counties that are part of the same prosecutorial district, prosecutors said Monday. The procedure is intended to simplify the logistics of presenting such cases for prosecutors in the office of the Maine attorney general.

Hancock and Washington counties make up Maine’s seventh prosecutorial district.

Joseph Barnes, 41, of Pleasant Point was indicted last week by the Hancock County grand jury under the same procedure. Barnes, a former police chief for the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Pleasant Point, is accused of stealing more than $10,000 from the tribe between April 2007 and May 2008.

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