Belfast attorney accused of 'financial exploitation' faced $81,000 tax lien in 2011
Belfast — Records at the Waldo County Registry of Deeds show a Belfast attorney faced a federal level tax lien amounting to more than $81,000 in November 2011, and that the lien was released after that amount was recorded in the registry as paid and released in March 2013.
Those records show a federal tax lien in the amount of $81,759.30 was levied against property under the ownership William Dawson of Belfast for the tax period ending Dec. 31, 2005. According to records at the registry, Dawson was notified of the lien in Nov. 2011. Records show a second lien in the identical amount was issued to both Dawson and his wife, Lauri Dawson, on the same date.
Dawson paid up those liens, according to documents at the registry, and they were released March 11, 2013.
Records also indicate various liens from the Internal Revenue Service, Maine Revenue Service, the City of Belfast and in one case, the Maine Department of Labor, were placed on Dawson's property from 1998 through 2013. Many of those additional liens shown in the record have been paid off, however, and ranged in amounts from $172 in the form of a 1998 lien from the city that was released in November 1998 to a $7,933.02 federal tax lien dating back to March 2010. Records show Dawson paid that amount in Aug. 2011.
A call to Dawson's office seeking comment Tuesday, Oct. 15 was not returned as of 4 p.m.
In May, a Maine Department of Health and Human Services social worker accused Dawson of financially exploiting two elderly women for which he had served as Power of Attorney, and filed affidavits with the Waldo County Probate Court asking for temporary appointment on behalf of those women. Court records stated Judge Susan Longley issued an interim order that in part barred Dawson from "writing checks to himself, his firm and/or his family." The hearing on the matter is scheduled for Nov. 5, according to court records.
In an emailed response to an inquiry from The Republican Journal, Waldo County Deputy District Attorney Eric Walker said the matter has also been turned over to his office.
"I have spoken with an attorney at the [Attorney General's] Office and they have agreed to accept the case and review it to avoid any possible appearance of a conflict of interest as the case involves a local attorney," stated Walker in his email.
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Tanya has been a general news reporter in Waldo County since 1997.
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