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Maui businessman, former NFL player gets prison in tax scheme

A former NFL football player and Maui businessman was sentenced in federal court to 37 months in prison Thursday for a tax scheme that claimed the Internal Revenue Service owed him more than $2.3 million.

Charles Loewen, 57, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and filing a false claim for a tax refund in March.

Loewen did not get the refund, but when state tax authorities tried to levy Loewen’s bank accounts to collect back taxes, Loewen had his wife open a new bank account in Arizona and closed his local bank accounts, according to court documents.

U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson also ordered Loewen to pay $235,288 in restitution for federal taxes, which his attorney said he paid 10 days ago. 

Loewen still owes $127,000 in state taxes from 2004 to 2008, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Cynthia Lie.

Lie said Loewen played for the San Diego Chargers.

According to NFL.com, Loewen played for four seasons between 1980 and 1984. Loewen, who was taken by the Chargers in the seventh round of the 1980 draft, played tackle and guard, according to pro-football-reference.com.

He is owner of Paradise Stone & Tile on Maui.

Paula Loewen, who wept during her husband’s sentencing, was also sentenced on Thursday to three years probation and a $5,000 fine. Watson did not give her any prison time for failing to file a tax return for 2007. He ordered her to pay $5,034 in restitution.

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