SAN ANTONIO --A Boerne couple that once worked out of Fort Sam is charged with steering government military contracts for a little extra pocket change.
The IRS says it amounted to hundreds of thousands of dollars in unreported income.
Velma Salinas-Nix and Kenneth Nix said little as they entered the federal courthouse Tuesday to face their accusers: The IRS charges the couple with failing to report more than a quarter million dollars over the last 7 years… money the agency believes came from kickbacks.
“The income that people earn from kickbacks and embezzlement is all considered taxable income. When you file a tax return and you don’t claim everything in your tax return, then you are committing a false statement on your tax return,” said IRS Special Agent Mike Lemoine, with the U.S. Treasury Department.
In a searh warrant affidavit, IRS investigators said they became suspicious of the Nixes’ lifestyle when the couple moved into a luxurious 6,000 square feet home in a posh Boerne neighborhood. The IRS says the $1.5 million spread was above the couple’s pay grade.
As a chief of contracting for the Army, Kenneth Nix, investigators said, delivered more than a million dollars in contracts to a private company he worked for, Vistas Construction of Illinois.
The IRS says that company then paid Nix under the table for securing the work.
His wife Velma, a high-ranking civilian manager at Fort Sam at the time, managed contracts in South America. Prosecutors contend she helped peddle the deals, and profited from it.
In their defense, the Nixes’ attorney told the judge the military investigation failed to come up with any evidence of fraud and kickbacks, so the attorney said investigators sent the IRS after the couple.