AUGUSTA — A China man who was jailed in 2008 after he was convicted of six counts of failing to pay tax or file returns in the early 2000s is headed back to jail for failing to pay taxes or file returns for tax years 2008-2010.

Darren F. Carlton, 45, was sentenced Tuesday in Kennebec County Superior Court to two years in jail with all but five months suspended and two years of probation and ordered to pay restitution to the state at a rate of $500 a month.

Carlton, who told the judge he works on a fishing boat — a dragger out of Boston — won’t have to turn himself in at the jail until Nov. 1. He asked for a three-month stay so he could go back to sea and make more money to pay restitution.

The prosecutor, Assistant Attorney General Gregg Bernstein, said Carlton had paid all but $245 in restitution ordered in the criminal case but still owes another $10,545 in as a civil debt for back taxes.

Bernstein said Carlton still is not paying taxes and has filed late for the past three years while earning $30,000 to $40,000.

“At this point, it’s not the money anymore. It really is a specific deterrence in this case,” Bernstein said, asking that Carlton spend six months behind bars. “You can’t make a decent living, modest but decent, and not pay your taxes.”

Attorney John O’Donnell, who sought a fully suspended sentence for Carlton, told the judge, “There’s no question my client certainly needs to get his act together.”

O’Donnell said if Carlton was able to board a boat leaving Tuesday, he would be able to make a sizable contribution to his tax obligation. O’Donnell said that in March, Carlton was able to make a $5,000 payment.

Justice Michaela Murphy rejected that notion of no jail time. “I cannot agree to a fully suspended sentence in this case,” she said. “Apparently the message has not been received.”

Conditions of probation require Carlton to file all state and federal tax returns on time. “While he’s on probation, he’s going to be filing taxes just like everybody else,” Murphy said.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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