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Federal jury convicts 3 Renton men in tax scheme
Posted by Cathy McLain
from staff reporter Mike Carter
Three Renton men were among eight promoters of a tax-elimination scheme convicted Wednesday by a federal jury in Pensacola, Fla., on a variety of conspiracy charges.
Arnold Ray Manansala, Dover Eugene Perry and Arthur Ramirez Merino, all of Renton, were involved in promoting a series of schemes aimed at avoiding paying taxes or reneging on debt through a company called Pinnacle Quest International, according to the Department of Justice.
A federal jury convicted them and five others following a monthlong trial.
Merino, who was convicted of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, operated a successful credit-card debt-elimination service called Financial Solutions, which charged thousands of dollars to send letters to companies that challenged the lawfulness of the debt.
The Internal Revenue Service says many who used the service were sued by their creditors, and some were forced into bankruptcy.
All three men were on Pinnacle Quest's executive council, which guided the company and decided what products and schemes to offer its 11,000 members.
The IRS says none of the men paid taxes while they were involved in Pinnacle Quest.
Manansala and Perry face up to 25 years in prison. Merino faces a five-year sentence, according to an IRS release.