Edgar A. Lockett Jr., 70, was convicted on Friday of six counts of tax evasion by an Amarillo jury after failing to pay more than $1.4 million in income taxes. Lockett, an anesthesiologist, faces up to five years in prison and was taken into custody of the U.S. Marshals Service after the trial.
Ron Spriggs, Lockett's Amarillo attorney, plans to appeal the jury's verdict claiming that the defense presented letters and other evidence from certified public accountants who represented Lockett and gave him faulty tax advice. Spriggs believes jurors disregarded that critical evidence.
"I think the jury reached the wrong decision. That man was not guilty of tax evasion," Spriggs said. "He actually believed he did not have to file those taxes, which he didn't, which is a defense. ... It should be a crime what the IRS does to a man."
The government would not agree and presented evidence that Lockett failed to file income tax returns as far back as 1999, except for a joint return filed with his spouse for tax year 2007. Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Drake told jurors Lockett hid income from various entities he created by funneling it into bank accounts he opened under his deceased father's name.
A sentencing date has not been announced.