by Ralph Routon
Douglas Bruce has been sentenced to six months in the Denver County Jail, starting Friday, and six years of probation for his December conviction on three felony counts and one misdemeanor for tax evasion.
Denver District Court Judge Anne Mansfield ordered this afternoon that Bruce serve the jail time, then submit to closely supervised probation supervised by the economic crime unit of the Denver District Court. It means he also will have to make known all of his financial activities and accounts.
Afterward, Bruce called himself a "political prisoner" and said he would appeal, and prevail.
Mansfield, during a 15-minute statement, was sharply critical of Bruce's behavior, saying he showed no remorse, no admission of guilt, did not obey court orders during the trial and that "he's never wrong."
The 62-year-old Bruce, who did not speak at the sentencing hearing, appeared for a few moments to be avoiding jail time, according to Twitter reports from the courtroom. But that suddenly changed when Judge Mansfield ordered the six-month sentence. He could have been sentenced to as long as 12 years for his conviction. Mansfield made it clear, however, that if Bruce violates any of the 20 conditions for his probation, he will have to serve more time in jail. He also will have to pay all back taxes, plus interest.
The prosecution recommended at least two years of jail time and also asked for more than $20,000 in prosecution costs. Bruce will have a month to file an answer and the judge will make a determination.
Prosecutors also told the court that the Internal Revenue Service has asked for their files on Bruce and will be doing an investigation as well.
Attorney David Lane, who represented Bruce at the hearing, told Mansfield that Bruce shouldn't go to jail and that he was a victim of a witch hunt.
Bruce has told media he has prepared a seven-page appeal of his conviction.
It also came out in the hearing today that a court reporter found evidence given to Bruce in the street outside the courthouse, tossed aside following trial.