A 48-year-old captain with the Salem New Hampshire Police Department was arrested and charged on Thursday with tax fraud for obtaining profits from the sales of firearms.
According to the indictment, Michael Wagner of Pelham, New Hampshire, was charged with one count of filing falsified tax returns. If found guilty for the charge, he faces a prison sentence and a hefty fine.
Making a Profit on the Side
It is alleged that Wagner bought around 36 assault rifles in December 2012 and January 2013 from Sig Sauer Academy, a state-of-the-art training facility in Epping, New Hampshire. He is also said to have resold them in 2013 in order to earn over $33,000 in profits, which he reportedly did not include his tax returns on purpose.
Allegedly, the police captain utilized the 25 percent discount provided by Sig Sauer to law enforcement officers on purchases of equipment. This further enhanced the profit that Wagner managed to make with the sales of the firearms. Furthermore, the indictment also claimed that he instructed a subordinate officer to purchase an assault on his behalf after he stopped receiving the law enforcement discount offered by Sig Sauer.
Overstating Tax Deductions
While Wagner made a profit from the sales of the firearms, he supposedly overstated his tax deductions in the tax returns he filed for the year 2013, according to the indictment. He is said to have falsely claimed a sum of over $10,000 in the form of expenses reimbursed for police equipment, ammunition, and firearms.
The sentences imposed in federal district courts are governed by the US Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. If found guilty, Wagner could face up to three years in prison according to the provisions of the charging statute. In addition to a prison sentence, he also faces one year of supervised release and a fine of up to $100,000.