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Appeals court upholds New Mexico woman's conviction in tax case but tosses her prison sentence


ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico — A federal appeals court has upheld a New Mexico woman's conviction for tax evasion but overturned her sentence.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Tuesday a trial judge shouldn't have increased Elizabeth Kupfer's sentencing range because she didn't reveal under-reporting of income from the consulting business of her husband, Joseph Kupfer.

The judge applied a sentencing guideline intended for cases in which defendants willfully obstruct investigations, but the 10th Circuit said Elizabeth Kupfer didn't do that.

According to the ruling, she "simply failed to speak up and failed to disclose the unreported income as authorities investigated."

Jurors convicted Elizabeth Kupfer of three counts of tax evasion. She was sentenced to three years in prison but she's now going to be sentenced anew.

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