Wade Cook headed to prison year and a half after being convicted
Financial adviser loses appeal in tax evasion, obstruction case
Last updated September 4, 2008 10:54 p.m. PT
By DAN RICHMAN
Wade Cook, a local financial adviser who for 18 months has avoided serving his seven-year federal tax-fraud sentence by appealing his conviction, is headed to prison.
Cook was arrested Thursday and was en route to the Federal Detention Center in SeaTac in the late afternoon, said Emily Langlie, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Seattle. He will remain there until the federal Bureau of Prisons determines where he should serve his 88-month sentence, Langlie said.
As part of being sentenced for seven counts of income tax evasion, filing a false income-tax return and obstruction of justice, Cook was also ordered to pay $3.8 million in back taxes.
Cook's wife and co-defendant, Laura, pleaded guilty in May 2007 to obstructing a tax investigation and was given an 18-month sentence. She is due for release Jan. 12 from Geiger Corrections Center in Spokane.
In September 2007, Wade Cook appealed his Feb. 20, 2007, conviction, claiming the trial court had erred in resolving a jury deadlock during the four-week trial.
In July, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld his conviction. Cook's attorney, Angelo Calfo, said he would seek a rehearing before a full panel of 9th Circuit judges, but it is unclear whether he has done so.
Langlie said the U.S. Attorney's Office began seeking two weeks ago to revoke Cook's bail, which was granted in September 2007. The order revoking it was handed down Thursday morning.
"He got bail because there was a fairly debatable issue on appeal, but once the appeals court ruled on it, it was no longer debatable," Langlie said.
Wade and Laura Cook ran Tukwila-based Wade Cook Financial Corp., which at its peak employed 550 people and brought in annual revenue of $118 million from seminars, books and tapes on investment and tax strategies.
They spent $487,000 to maintain their Fall City estate, $360,000 to buy 10 cars, $200,000 to buy at least nine horses and $217,000 as a donation to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, according to the case's prosecution.
"There is nothing wrong with buying property or jewelry or cars," said U.S. District Judge Thomas Zilly during the Cooks' sentencing hearing. "But most people pay taxes."