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Portland auto detailer sentenced to year in federal prison for $1.5 million tax evasion

Thomas Rennie of Battle Ground, Wash., owner of Autobella and who had also pleaded guilty to tax evasion December 2019, built single-service business into multi-level service facility

Portland, Ore.—Thomas A. Rennie, age 58, of Battle Ground, Wash., and formerly of Portland, Ore., was sentenced late last month to one year in prison, supervised release of three years, and restitution to the IRS of $1.5 million for evading payment of employment taxes and personal income taxes. Rennie previously pleaded guilty to one count of tax evasion on Dec. 16, 2019.

Thomas A. Rennie

Court documents state that Rennie operated a car detailing business, Autobella, in Portland for 28 years. In a press release, the U.S. Attorney’s office of District of Oregon said that Rennie knowingly and intentionally evaded payment of nearly $1.5 million in taxes for the years 2005 through 2017. 

According to Rennie’s Linkedin profile, he expanded from a single service operaton to a multi-level service facility specializing in “off beat” or select specialty cosmetic and Haz-Mat remediation services. Clientele consisted of retail, dealer, fleet, federal and state government branches.

Autobella’s website also states that it specializes in theft recovery detailing services.

The unpaid taxes were comprised of employment taxes for his businesses, personal income taxes, and corporate taxes. Rennie’s efforts to evade the payment of his taxes included his failure to maintain proper business books and records; using business bank accounts and a non-profit entity’s bank account to pay personal expenses; concealing ownership of personal assets by placing title to these assets in the names of nominee entities; concealing the income from the sale of one of his companies by placing the proceeds in bank accounts held in the names of nominees; and making false statements to an IRS Revenue Officer.

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