CINCINNATI — Country music star David Allan Coe received three years of probation and must pay nearly $1 million in restitution after pleading guilty last fall to IRS obstruction, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
According to court records, Coe failed to file or pay income taxes due from 2008 to 2013, despite earning income for at least 100 concerts performed per year during that time period. Instead of paying his taxes in full, Coe spent the money on other debts and gambling, according to IRS Special Agent in Charge Kathy Enstrom.
Enstrom ran the special investigation from the IRS' Cincinnati field office.
Enstrom said Coe began taking payment for performances in cash only, in an effort to prevent the IRS from garnishing his bank account to recuperate the unpaid tax money.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Coe owed the IRS $388,190.94 from 2009, $35,640.10 from 2011 and $42,733.82 from 2013.
“Mr. Coe chose to impede and obstruct the due administration of the IRS in an effort to brush aside his duty to file and pay taxes, and is now a convicted felon,” Enstrom said.
While Coe did not receive any prison time, he is no stranger to time behind bars. A self-proclaimed “outlaw,” the 76-year-old, Akron, Ohio, native said he wrote his album “Penitentiary Blues” based on time spent in the Ohio State Penitentiary while in his 20s. That stint in prison was extended after he killed another inmate who approached him in search of oral sex.
Coe must pay $980,911.86 for the 2008 through 2013 income tax years. His conviction could have meant up to three years in prison.