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Roseau County Commisioner charged with felony tax crime

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The Minnesota Department of Revenue announced that the Pennington County Attorney's Office recently charged Orris Rasmussen, 72, with four gross misdemeanors and one felony tax crime.

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Rasmussen, a Roseau County Commissioner, is charged with four gross misdemeanor counts of knowingly failing to file tax returns and one felony count of willfully failing to file personal income tax returns for tax years 2003-2007.

According to the complaint, Rasmussen's income in 2003 totaled more than $73,000, $74,000 in 2004, $56,000 in 2005, $52,000 in 2006 and $56,000 in 2007. Each amount exceeds the minimum guideline for filing state income tax returns.

The Department alleges Rasmussen gave no logical answer as to why he did not file his tax returns and, as a County Commissioner, knows everyone must file tax returns.

Each gross misdemeanor is punishable up to one year in prison, up to a $3,000 fine, or both. The felony is punishable up to five years in prison, up to a $10,000 fine, or both.

The Minnesota Department of Revenue has a 24-hour tip line for anyone who suspects an individual or business is violating tax laws, at (651) 297-5195 or 1-800-657-3500. Tipsters may remain anonymous and can also email the department at tax.fraud@state.mn.us. Last year, citizen tips resulted in 87 percent of the department's criminal case referrals.

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