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Pflueger lied about taxes to get funds for legal costs, prosecutor says

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Retired car dealer James Henry Pflueger lied about how much in taxes he owed on the sale of a commercial property in San Diego because he needed the money for his legal expenses in the Ka Loko Dam disaster and other judgments, federal prosecutor Les Osborne said today in opening statements of Pflueger’s conspiracy and tax evasion trial.

Pflueger, 86, is on trial for conspiring to conceal from the IRS profits from the sale of the property and the payments his former company, Pflueger Inc., made to cover his personal expenses from 2003 through 2006. He is also on trial for filing false federal income tax returns.

The government last week dropped a charge accusing Pflueger of failing to report his holdings in a Swiss bank account.

U.S. District Judge Leslie E. Kobayashi is presiding over the non-jury trial.

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