From the U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Colorado:
DENVER – Robert Hybertson, age 59, of Brighton, Colorado charged with violations of IRS and Social Security laws appeared before a U.S. Magistrate Judge today for arraignment and a detention hearing. The defendant was ordered released on bond by U.S. Magistrate Judge Scott T. Varholak. He first appeared in court on April 13, 2017 for his initial appearance. He was indicted by a federal grand jury on April 10, 2017 for corrupt endeavor to obstruct or impede due administration of the Internal Revenue Laws, failure to file federal income tax returns, concealment, and false statement in determining benefits, announced Acting United States Attorney Bob Troyer, IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Steven Osborne and Social Security Administration Office of Inspection General Special Agent in Charge Wilbert M. Craig.
According to the indictment, from early 2006 through until early 2017, Hybertson was the owner and operator of Black Hills Rig Heaters (“BHRH”), a South Dakota Business trust that does business in Colorado and elsewhere. In addition, during a period of time relevant to the indictment, Hybertson worked as a sales representative for Therm Dynamics, a company that manufactures and sells heaters for use in oil fields.
As part of a corrupt endeavor to impede the due administration of the IRS, beginning in early 2006 and continuing through 2014, Hybertson did not file federal income tax returns for himself or for BHRH. Further, he provided third parties with invalid or incorrect Employer Identification Numbers (EIN) for BHRH. Hybertson sometimes listed these invalid or incorrect EINs on bogus or inapplicable tax forms. These forms included a bogus W9 form titled, “Request for Nontaxpayer Identification Number and Certification,” that contained language saying it was provided under duress, as well as an inapplicable W-8BEN “Certificate of Foreign Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding and Reporting (Individuals)” form on which Hybertson listed his “country” of residence as South Dakota. In 2010, the IRS audited Hybertson for the tax year 2006 and determined that he owed approximately $38,000 in taxes (not including penalties and interest). Hybertson refused to pay the tax assessment. Instead, on multiple occasions, Hybertson sent correspondence to the IRS or other government officials stating that he was not required to report domestic income on Form 1040 and/or threatening criminal prosecution of IRS employees attempting to collect taxes.
In or about April 1999, Hybertson began receiving Social Security Benefits based upon an application he submitted indicating that he was unable to work due to a disability. Disability is based on one’s inability to work, and the disabled beneficiary has a duty to report changes in his medical condition, if he returns to the workforce, or if his physician advises that he is able to return to work. Beginning in about January 2010, Hybertson concealed his self-employment and his employment with Therm Dynamics in order to keep receiving disability benefits. In 2013, Hybertson completed a Social Security form indicating that he had not been self-employed or worked for someone since February 2011. Hybertson continued receiving disability payments to which he was not entitled through February 2017.
Hybertson is charged with one count of corrupt endeavor to obstruct or impede the due administration of the Internal Revenue Laws, four counts of failure to file a return, one count of concealment related to his receipt of Social Security benefits, and one count of false statements in determining benefits. The obstruction charge carries a penalty of not more than three years in prison, and a fine of up to $250,000. Failure to file a return carries a penalty of not more than one year in prison and a fine of up to $100,000 for each count. Concealment carries a penalty of five years in prison, and a fine of up to $250,000. False statement in determining benefits carries a penalty of not more than five years in prison, and a fine of up to $250,000.
This case is being investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation and Social Security Administration – Office of Inspection General. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Rebecca Weber and First Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Kirsch.