SALY LAKE CITY — A Salt Lake County dentist has been ordered to serve five years in prison after prosecutors say he made no efforts to pay the taxes he evaded.
Benjamin Lee Gilstrap, 60, was taken into custody Monday. He had initially been sentenced to 50 days of home confinement and six years probation following a September 2011 plea bargain deal. In the deal, Gilstrap pleaded guilty to two third-degree felony counts of tax evasion and attempted tax evasion. He had originally been charged with six counts of evasion in 2010.
According to the Utah Attorney General's Office, the charges addressed tax periods between 2003 and 2007, although investigators said noncompliance dated back "as far as Tax Commission records are kept."
Third District Judge William Barrett found Monday the $242,237 balance that Gilstrap owed in taxes and restitution remained unpaid, a violation of his probation.
A Utah Tax Commission investigation indicated Gilstrap had taken in nearly $1.5 million in those five years, and had "a long history of co-mingling personal and business funds" to manipulate his income.
“Justice may have been slow but it finally caught up with Mr. Gilstrap,” said Attorney General Mark Shurtleff. “Ultimately incarceration is the only place left for someone who has been given every opportunity possible to pay his fair share of taxes and then continues to flaunt the law and every court order.”
Gilstrap is still required to pay the outstanding tax amount.