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Contractors who built Billings mansion get probation, fine for tax evasion | Crime & Courts

The couple pleaded guilty in December.

In court Friday, they said when Price approached them about the job in late 2012 or early 2013 it seemed like a big opportunity.

“I knew I could showcase my talent,” James said. “It would be a milestone in my career.”

The Kislings said that Price began paying them late, then stopped paying them a profit but only for the materials, forcing them to dip into savings to pay subcontractors. It was then that they “made the poor decision to defer reporting of their income in an effort to minimize their debt,” defense attorney Vern Woodward wrote in a sentencing memorandum.

But prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memorandum that the Kislings hid their income from the IRS relatively early on in the multi-year construction project, at a time when Price was still paying for both materials and labor.

Prosecutors also questioned the idea that the Kislings were ultimately planning on paying the dodged taxes, noting they’d had years to do so before federal investigators began looking into them.

“The facts are that the Kislings entered the scheme while collecting millions from Price and spending freely on toys and new business ventures, and, far from paying up, they continued to conceal the crime until caught red-handed,” prosecutors wrote.

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