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David Allan Coe Fined Nearly $1 Million, Given Probation for Income Tax Evasion

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After pleading guilty to one count of income tax evasion in September, David Allan Coe has learned his sentence: The singer-songwriter has been given a nearly $1 million fine and been placed on probation.

According to Cincinnati, Ohio’s WLWT-TV, Coe has been ordered to pay $980,911.86 in restitution to the IRS; he will also be on probation for three years. In September, the Akron, Ohio, native admitted to either not filing his income tax returns or not paying the taxes owed between 2008 and 2013. Instead of paying his taxes, the U.S. Attorney’s Office says that Coe covered gambling and other debts. According to officials, he owed the IRS more than $466,000 in back taxes, plus interest and penalties.

Coe, 76, performs approximately 100 concerts per year and is paid in cash for each show — an arrangement that, according to a news release, “was also in an effort to impede the ability of the IRS to collect on the taxes owed” (quote via the Cincinnati Enquirer). Coe’s manager would pick up the money, pay himself and the band, and then give the remaining money to the country artist; however, according to the news release, Coe would not accept $50 bills because “he believed they were bad luck and would not gamble with them.” In May of 2009, per WLWT, after hearing from the IRS about his then-current tax liabilities, Coe stopped using his personal bank account.

Coe is best known for penning the song “Take This Job and Shove It.” Johnny Paycheck too the song to No. 1 following its release in 1977.

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