Couple failed to pay taxes on fishing income

A Southeast Alaska couple has pleaded guilty to willfully failing to pay their individual income taxes on income earned from commercial fishing.

Archie W. Demmert and Roseann L. Demmert, both of Klawock, entered their plea on May 31 in Anchorage before Chief U.S. District Judge Timothy M. Burgess. They agreed as part of the plea agreement to jointly pay restitution to the IRA.

The Demmerts both had commercial fishing permits for herring spawn on kelp, and Archie had an additional commercial fishing permit for a salmon purse seine. They couple admitted in court that they earned income from commercial fishing, but did not pay their taxes for 13 separate tax years, for which they owed over $300,000, excluding penalties and interest.

Sentencing has been scheduled for Oct. 4. They each face a statutory maximum sentence of two years in prison, as well as a period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties, said U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder.