When authorities struggle to compile evidence sufficient for bringing charges against an individual for operating an illegal enterprise, they often turn to income tax evasion. Reported in a story from the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Las Vegas pimp Micah Duncan, known as “Wheelchair Mike,” recently pleaded to income tax evasion.
Under Nevada state law, some forms of prostitution are legal, but only in counties with a population under 400,000. Las Vegas sits in Clark County, which, according to the 2010 Census, has a population of 1,951,269.
The laws didn’t stop Wheelchair Mike from running a prostitution ring in Las Vegas. But the Metro Vice police couldn’t prove it. The street girls were unwilling to cooperate with authorities, probably because of threats of violence or self-incrimination. Instead, local authorities turned to the IRS to find out whether Wheelchair Mike was paying tax on the income he took in.
The IRS learned Wheelchair Mike wasn’t filing his tax returns, yet he spent over $800,000 for vehicle and residential lease payments from 2007 to 2010. That’s an income tax problem if the taxpayer can’t explain the source of the funds. Of course, it was a problem for Wheelchair Mike, and now he’ll serve time for it. Let’s just hope the women who had succumbed to his abuse take this opportunity to no longer subject themselves to similar exploitation.