BALTIMORE, MD (March 30, 2018) – Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh today announced an Anne Arundel County jury convicted Joel Bratton-Bey, 71, of Baltimore, for
willfully failing to file his 2014, 2015, and 2016 Maryland income tax returns.

According to evidence admitted at trial, Bratton-Bey, a former employee of the City of Baltimore, has a long track record of willfully refusing to file income tax returns based on his belief that State and federal tax laws do not apply to him. Despite having a legal obligation to do so, Bratton-Bey failed to file his 2014, 2015, and 2016 Maryland income tax returns.

The evidence at trial further established that: Bratton-Bey received tax forms (1099-Rs) for each of the years in question, which put him on notice of his obligation to file tax returns; the Comptroller’s Office repeatedly notified him of his obligation to file tax returns and affirmed assessments against him based on his failure to file tax returns in prior years; and, both the United States Tax Court and the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland rejected Bratton-Bey’s claims that he was not subject to federal or State taxation.

“Willful disregard of the obligation to file tax returns is unlawful,” said Attorney General Frosh. “The law applies to everyone, and people who refuse to pay their taxes will be held accountable.”

Sentencing is scheduled for April 17, 2018 before the Honorable Donna M. Schaeffer of the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County.

The case was investigated by the Comptroller’s Field Enforcement Division and prosecuted by the Criminal Investigations Division of the Maryland Attorney General’s Office.