A merchant mariner from Lamoine has pleaded guilty to failing to file Maine income tax returns and failing to pay the taxes due for the period between 2009 and 2014.

Stephen Wardman, 64, pretended to live in Florida – a state with no income tax – to avoid his Maine income tax obligations, according to Attorney General Janet Mills.

She said he owes $139,585 in restitution to the state.

Wardman entered his guilty pleas Friday in Cumberland County Superior Court in Portland, Mills said in a news release Tuesday.

As part of a plea agreement, he will also plead guilty to six counts of Class D income tax evasion at the conclusion of the case.

Wardman used a mail forwarding service to have his mail sent from Florida to Maine, Mills said. He also registered to vote in Florida, but never voted there.

Mills said Wardman started evading taxes in 1999 and continued until Maine Revenue Services, the state tax agency, discovered his conduct.

Wardman could only be criminally charged for the years between 2009 and 2014, due to the statute of limitations.

But the plea agreement will require that he repay the state all of the income taxes ($139,585) due between 1999 and 2014 plus interest. The state has already recovered $20,000.

Wardman’s sentencing will be deferred for 20 months. During that period, he must make monthly payments of $6,000 to the state. He must also forfeit contents of his investment account.

If Wardman fails to comply with terms of the plea agreement, he will face Class C tax evasion charges. He could face up to nine months in jail, Mills said.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.