Convicted tax evader Walter Mann III, the subject of a federal arrest warrant for failing to report to his parole officer, was arrested Monday as a television reporter interviewed him.
Mann, who was released from a federal prison in Michigan on June 13, appeared at the KUTV studios in West Valley City at about 9 a.m. MDT and volunteered to be interviewed, said reporter Chris Vanocur."I'm really not turning myself in," Vanocur quoted Mann as saying. "I heard they were looking for me, so I thought I'd visit them and see what it's all about."
News Director Dan Webster said he notified federal authorities, and after Mann expressed concern about his safety, offered to film the arrest.
"The impression that he left me with was that he wanted to use our TV cameras for peace of mind," Webster said.
U.S. marshals appeared within 20 minutes, informed Mann they had a warrant and took him into custody without incident.
"I have to indicate that you don't have any jurisdiction; of course I do that respectfully," Mann told the marshal as a camera filmed the activity. "I've heard you guys are looking for me. I'm here to find out what it's all about, because I sure don't know."
Mann was taken to the Salt Lake County Jail where he was being held without bail, said Deputy U.S. Marshal Jim Parker.
His case will be referred to the U.S. Parole Commission in San Francisco, which can decide either to hold a hearing in Salt Lake City or return him to prison in Milan, Mich.
Mann, 51, of Bloomington, Utah, failed to report to his Salt Lake probation officer, Manuel DeLaTorre, within 72 hours of his release, Parker said. Federal prisoners are released to their home state.
He was sentenced in October 1986 to 10 years in prison on four counts of mail fraud, one count of wire fraud and three counts of failure to file income tax returns.
The charges stemmed from Mann's failure to file income tax returns for $145,000 he earned selling materials that fraudulently claimed wages are not taxable.
He is author of a tax-tip publication, "Walt's Book."
Mann appealed the conviction, and in 1988, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver threw out the wire fraud count and remanded the case for a new trial on the charges of failing to file returns.
Prosecutors declined to retry the case, leaving Mann to serve a five-year term for the remaining mail fraud conviction. His fine was cut from $26,000 to $4,000, which authorities say has not been paid.
After Mann's failure to appear, marshals cautioned prosecutors and a judge involved in his case to be careful while he was at large.