Klawock harvesters sentenced on tax charges

A Klawock couple who owe over $300,000 in taxes will serve time in federal prison on two counts of willful failure to pay the amount due.

Archie W. Demmert III, 58, and Roseann L. Demmert, 61, were sentenced in federal court in Juneau in early October by Chief U.S. District Judge Timothy M. Burgess. As part of their plea agreements, they will pay restitution to the IRS for calendar years charged covering 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Both Demmerts had commercial fishing permits for herring spawn on kelp. Archie Demmert had an additional commercial fishing permit for a salmon purse seine.

The couple admitted in court in May that they earned income from commercial fishing for over a decade, from 2006 to 2014, then willfully chose not to pay over $300,000 in taxes, excluding penalties and interest. To date they have made no payments, instead choosing to spend their money on travel and gambling in casinos in Las Vegas and Washington, according to the office of the U.S. Attorney for Alaska.

Court documents showed that the Demmerts have a long history, dating back to at least 1994, of avoiding the majority of their tax obligations.