David Bruce Billings - Page 5

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          sign the amended return, or risk having his wife face a longer              
          sentence in a more unpleasant facility.  On March 19, 2001, David           
          signed the amended return.                                                  
               That return included as taxable income the nearly $40,000              
          that Rosalee had embezzled in 1999.  It also showed an increase             
          in tax of over $16,000.  When David signed the amended return, he           
          knew that neither he nor his wife expected to be able to pay the            
          increased tax.  Wiesner, however, suggested that David himself              
          might avoid liability for the extra tax by filing for innocent              
          spouse relief under section 6015.  He even filled out the                   
          required IRS form and had David sign it together with the amended           
          return.  The Billingses sent that form to the IRS, but it was               
          never processed.                                                            
               As the Billingses feared, Rosalee's embezzlement led to a              
          criminal charge--one count of wire fraud.  Less than a month                
          later, in November 2001, she pleaded guilty.  Her sentence                  
          apparently reflected a downward departure for acceptance of                 
          responsibility, though the probation officer who wrote the                  
          sentencing report did not mention that the Billingses had filed             
          an amended return.3                                                         

               3 David argues that it was filing the amended return that              
          led Rosalee to be sentenced to less than a year, which qualified            
          her for residence in a halfway house rather than imprisonment.              
          Although filing the amended return may well be one form of                  
          accepting responsibility, we found nothing in sentencing                    
          guideline precedents that suggests it was the only or most                  

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