“American Guns” star Richard Wyatt surrendered to authorities on Thursday on charges that include illegally selling firearms and failing to disclose $1.1 million in income to the IRS.
Wyatt had been indicted by a federal Grand Jury Tuesday on seven counts of failure to file a tax return, three counts of dealing in firearms without a license, two counts of conspiracy, and one count of filing a false tax return.
Wyatt’s Denver-area Gunsmoke shop was searched by the IRS in 2013 and by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in 2015.
He is being held without bond pending a hearing on Tuesday.
Wyatt ‘s Gunsmoke shop was the setting of his Discovery Channel reality show on from 2011 to 2012.
Prosecutors said that despite surrendering his firearms license in 2012, he continued to operate Gunsmoke, and submitted false paperwork to hide that another company with a valid firearms license was acting as Gunsmoke’s straw licensee.
“In addition to the alleged firearms violations, Wyatt failed to pay personal income tax in years 2009, when he made approximately $290,000, in 2010 when he made approximately $123,000, and in 2012, when he made approximately $689,000,” prosecutors said. “Further, in 2010, 2011, and 2012, Wyatt failed to pay corporate taxes. In 2012, Wyatt willfully filed a tax return he knew to be false, stating that he lost money, when in fact he made at least $184,000 that he failed to disclose.”
But Wyatt’s attorney Thomas Miller said the arrest is politically motivated, telling the Denver Post: “If you look at the conduct of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms over the course of the last eight years, you will find that there have been political as well as criminal prosecutions. I would say that the political bent of Washington is more behind this than it should be. I truly believe that this is driven by political winds.”