Ninth Pilot Charged In Minnesota
ANN would like to ask
the state of Minnesota one question: What's your beef with airline
While tax evasion is a
serious offense, some are wondering why the state has chosen to
publicly humiliate a select group of offenders: airline pilots? Why
not do the same for other citizens following the same path of
On Tuesday, Washington
County (MN) charged airline pilot Dennis Dentley Dickinson, 41,
with three felony counts of tax evasion and promptly distributed a
press release announcing the arrest.
Dickinson is the ninth
pilot to face similar charges since March 2002. In each case, a pilot allegedly
claimed residency in a state without income tax to avoid paying
taxes in Minnesota. The prosecutor says Northwest Airline records
show Dickinson is based out of the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport,
but claimed Florida as home to his employer.
The department alleges that Dickinson failed to file Minnesota
income tax returns for tax years 1999, 2000 and 2001.
The agency estimates he owes the state more than $17,100 in
income tax. Dickinson lives Bayport, Minn. and has been a Northwest
Airlines pilot since 1985.
The state also pointed to other items of alleged culpability:
- Revenue investigators found significant evidence that Dickinson
lived in Minnesota.
- He owns a home in Minnesota and lives there with his wife and
- His daily financial and personal business was conducted in
- He is listed in the St. Paul phone book.
When Dickinson bought
the home in June 1999, he claimed on property records that it would
be his primary residence. The state claims Dickinson also owns a
condominium with his mother in St. Petersburg Beach, (FL), but
investigators found little evidence to support residency in that
state. He is not registered to vote in Florida, and there are no
records of vehicles registered to him in the state.
For each felony count of tax evasion, Dickinson faces a maximum
sentence of five years in prison, a $10,000 fine, or both. Each of
the eight pilots charged earlier were either found guilty at trial
or pleaded guilty.
To learn more about this case, ANN attempted to contact the
Minnesota Department of Revenue but none of our requests were
returned. While we could not determine the state's basis for
the public disclosure of this particular case,
we should note the agency does provide a list of all tax
offenders on their website. However, ANN would like to know why
press releases were not distributed in cases not dealing with
Nevertheless, transient pilots should take note. Please
recognize the need to keep your tax information in order, as
it appears the state of Minnesota, and surely others, are intent on
catching dubious tax returns.