Former Olympic pole vaulter Kory M. Tarpenning was sentenced to three months in prison for failing to pay taxes on nearly $2 million he earned while living in Monaco — money he used to pay for a second home and private school tuition.
On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Michael W. Mosman sentenced Tarpenning, who was sentenced to a maximum of three years in prison, to just three months for failing to report about $1.9 million in income and wages over a five-year period.
Tarpenning said in court he was “deeply sorry” for his behavior, Oregonlive.com reported.
The Portland-born former athlete represented Team USA in pole vault at two Olympics – Seoul in 1988 and Barcelona in 1992, where he placed fourth.
The Portland-born former athlete (pictured) represented Team USA in pole vault for two Summer Olympics, in Seoul in 1988 and Barcelona in 1992, where he placed fourth.
Tarpenning was also the representative responsible for bringing the first Starbucks to Monaco in December 2013 (pictured with Princess Charlene of Monaco at the grand opening)
Tarpenning (pictured) was charged with failing to report money he received from a $2.4 million commission contract he received after arranging a sponsorship deal between Nike, Inc. and Association Sportive de Monaco Football Club SA
The 59-year-old, who graduated from Boston University with a master’s degree in business administration, moved to Monaco, where he worked as a successful brand advisor for US companies interested in expanding their business to Monaco.
Tarpenning also owns several consulting firms, including Sirius Group SAM and Sirius Sports Marketing.
He was the representative responsible for bringing the first Starbucks to Monaco in December 2013 and was pictured at the grand opening of the coffee shop next to Charlene, Princess of Monaco.
Tarpenning was charged with failing to report money he received as a commission after arranging a sponsorship between Nike Inc. and Association Sportive de Monaco Football Club SA (“AS Monaco”), a professional football team based in Monaco.
The commission contract was valued at approximately $2.4 million, federal prosecutors said.
Instead, the 59-year-old transferred his income to personal bank accounts in Monaco and the US. He used it to pay for a second home in Eugene, Oregon, worth $500,000 in 2015 and for his children’s private school fees in Monaco, prosecutors said.
Tarpenning also did not report any income he received from his interests in the two Sirius consulting firms, a company called Tar.CaSAM that operates a Nike store in Monaco, and from the Downstream Monaco SAM consulting firm in Portland, prosecutors said.
Tarpenning, (pictured in 1996) graduated from Boston University with an MBA and lived in Monaco where he worked as a successful brand consultant for US companies
Prosecutors allege that Tarpenning (second from left) reported no more than $1.9 million in wages and business income in tax years 2014 through 2018.
Prosecutors allege Tarpenning (left) reported no more than $1.9 million in wages and business income in tax years 2014 through 2018.
Prosecutors allege that Tarpenning reported no more than $1.9 million in wages and operating income in tax years 2014 through 2018, and that his underreporting of earnings during that time caused IRS losses of more than $670,000.
Tarpenning pleaded guilty to one count of filing a false tax return in September. On January 6, US Assistant Attorney General Ethan D. Knight urged Mosman to sentence Tarpenning to one and a half years.
Knight recommended the reduced sentence, bearing in mind that Tarpenning had no previous record, had accepted responsibility early and that a longer jail time would harm his wife, who suffers from an undisclosed “debilitating illness” and depends on Tarpenning for care, Oregonlive.com reported.
Tappenning’s lawyers instead argued for a three-year probation and asked the judge to consider his otherwise exceptional life and charitable work.
They said he failed to pay the money because he lost a major customer, leaving his family in a precarious financial situation, Oregonlive.com reported.
Mosman said he considered Tarpenning’s crime-free life, age and collaboration.
He also noted the prosecution’s argument that Tarpenning was driven by greed, but dismissed it, citing his financial condition at the time, Oregonlive.com reported.
“The idea of Monaco is unusual here and gives a kind of luxurious patina about the whole thing that I don’t think lasts when I zoom in a little further,” he said. “So I accept that this isn’t the worst kind of fraud, where the person buys luxury items and complies.”
He added that Tarpenning’s jail term would likely have more impact on his family.
“It’s a bit of a sad irony that very often the people who have the most to lose by going to prison are people who have the most before going to prison,” Mosman said.
‘Mr. Tarpenning’s wife needs him badly and will suffer greatly without his care, especially in a pandemic where outside care is a challenge,” he added when handing down the three-month sentence. “If I want to take that seriously, then I have to impose a solution or at least significant mitigation.”
Mosman ordered Tarpenning to surrender to the US Marshal’s Service on Feb. 17 to begin his sentence, which will be followed by a year of supervised release.