Former Bellevue, Wash., developer sentenced to 4 1/2 years for tax evasion

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SEATTLE — A former Bellevue, Washington, developer and lender who spent millions on gambling, horse racing, private aircraft and property while ignoring a big tax bill has been sentenced to 4 ½ years in prison for tax evasion.

Federal prosecutors say 68-year-old Thomas Hazelrigg III hid his income and assets in the names of other people. He was sentenced Thursday in Seattle.

After a nine-day trial, a jury convicted Hazelrigg of tax evasion last December.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Zilly ordered Hazelrigg to pay more than $1 million in restitution to the IRS, including taxes, interest and penalties.

Hazelrigg had previously agreed to pay $533,000 for taxes he owed from 1989 through 1991. But prosecutors said he ignored that obligation while buying a Bellevue penthouse; two homes in Palm Springs, California; two chandeliers by glass artist Dale Chihuly; and other items, including the services of a butler.

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