Victor man with Keuka property charged with failing to file income tax returns

Gwen Chamberlain

Christopher Wheeler, 46, of Victor, was charged in a three-count information with willfully failing to file tax returns for 2007, 2008 and 2009, according to U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. The charges, announced April 16, carry a maximum sentence of three years in prison and a $75,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney John J. Field, who is handling the case, stated that Wheeler had gross income of approximately $4,600,000 in 2007, $5,600,000 in 2008, and $1,600,000 in 2009, but failed to file timely tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service to report this income.

In addition, Wheeler’s name is listed among the top 250 New York State Delinquent Taxpayers on the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance website. The website lists his total docketed balance of personal income tax due to New York State as of April 12, 2013 as $938,417.

The criminal charges are the culmination of an investigation by special agents of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Shantelle P. Kitchen, Acting Special Agent in Charge, New York Field Office.

These developments follow an ongoing civil case in which Wheeler is being sued by the federal Securities and Exchange Commission for alleged fraud. In relation to that case, federal authorities sought to seize several of Wheeler’s assets, including a Keuka lakefront home located in Barrington, a house in Victor, a bank account, and four vehicles, including a 2003 Ferrari Modena 360 and a 2007 BMW M6.

Officials have seized a bank account with over $52,000, the Ferrari, a 2008 Honda CRV, a 2007 BMW M6 and a 2008 Hummer H2, according to Barbara Burns of the U.S. Attorney’s office. That office has also filed liens on the home at 6715 Golf View, Victor, assessed at $533,000, and 820 East Lake Road, Penn Yan, assessed at $450,000.

In papers filed by the SEC Jan. 14, 2011 in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, Wheeler was accused of failing to disclose that he was being paid by certain issuers to promote their stock while selling millions of his own shares for profits in the millions. The case was transferred to the Western District Court in Rochester.

In April 2012, Wheeler agreed, without admitting wrongdoing, to pay a civil penalty and give up ill-gotten gains from the penny stock “pump-and-dump” scheme he ran from a website,