Husband of woman convicted of welfare fraud charged with tax evasion

Posted Aug. 18, 2012, at 8:37 a.m.
Last modified Aug. 18, 2012, at 2:03 p.m.

RUMFORD, Maine — The husband of a Rumford woman convicted of welfare fraud was indicted on tax evasion charges Friday in Oxford County Superior Court.

Scott D. Knowlton, 45, of Rumford is married to Amy Knowlton, who was found guilty of felony theft by deception in May for accepting more than $10,000 in state benefits while Scott, her then-boyfriend and the father of her children, was fishing in Alaska.

During that time, Scott Knowlton claimed a legal residence at Amy’s parents’ house in New Hampshire while she lived in Rumford with the children. At her trial in May, the Knowltons said he maintained the New Hampshire residence because of tax problems with his former wife and to avoid paying Maine income taxes on his Alaska wages. He was in the process of a divorce that was made final in 2008.

Assistant Attorney General Gregg Bernstein said the state charged Scott Knowlton with not paying Maine income taxes from 2006 to 2008. He also is charged with evasion of income tax, failure to make and file Maine income tax returns and failure to pay tax for each of the three years, for a total of nine charges.

Bernstein said Knowlton is accused of “claiming he was a resident of New Hampshire instead of Maine.”

During his wife’s trial, Knowlton said he worked on fishing boats off Alaska for more than half the year, and when he did return to New England his time was split between his legal residence with Amy Knowlton’s parents, his hometown of Waldoboro and Cape Cod, where he had friends.

Amy Knowlton is due for sentencing in Oxford County Superior Court on Sept. 4.

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