USA v. Wanland, Jr.

United States v. Wanland, No. 14-10170 (9th Cir. July 27, 2016). Published.
The discharge of federal taxes does not bar a federal tax-evasion prosecution.
Procedural context:
Donald Wanland filed chapter 7, owing unpaid federal taxes, and received a discharge. He was later prosecuted and convicted in federal district court for tax evasion. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit affirmed.
Wanland moved to dismiss the indictment on res judicata grounds because his tax liability had been discharged. The Ninth Circuit implicitly assumed that the taxes for which he was prosecuted were discharged. Res judicata has three elements, the first of which is privity between parties in the actions. The IRS in a bankruptcy case and the United States as plaintiff in a federal criminal prosecution are not the same plaintiff. Thus, the bankruptcy discharge did not bar the criminal prosecution.
J. Clifford Wallace, Mary M. Schroeder, and John B. Owens, Circuit Judges. Opinion by Judge Owens.

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