Cooking the books

Financial guru Wade Cook of Fall City made a fortune selling tax tips and investment strategies. He was sentenced to more than seven years in prison last week for tax fraud.

U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Zilly sentenced Cook, 57, to seven years and four months in federal prison Aug. 2 and ordered him to pay $3.75 million in back taxes owed on under-reported income from his financial advice books, tapes and seminars. Cook was convicted Feb. 20 on three counts of filing false income tax returns for the years 1998, 1999 and 2000; three counts of income tax evasion; and one count of obstructing the Internal Revenue Service.

Shortly after her husband was sentenced, Zilly sentenced Laura Cook, 54, to a one-and-one-half year prison sentence. In February, the jury deadlocked on all charges against her. She pleaded guilty in May to one count of obstruction in lieu of a second trial. Prosecutors had recommended a 15-month sentence.

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