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SAN JOSE TAX LAWYER SENTENCED TO PRISON Owen Fiore, the San Jose tax attorney who pleaded guilty in September to income tax evasion, was sentenced Tuesday to 18 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker. In addition to the 18-month prison sentence, Walker sentenced Fiore to serve three years of supervised release and to pay a $25,000 fine and $626,623 in restitution. Fiore has already paid the restitution and is scheduled to surrender into federal custody July 1. Fiore, a leading expert in estate planning and family trusts, was indicted in November 2003. Prosecutors charged him with underestimating earnings of up to $1.5 million over a four-year span. Eight months later, he stepped down as a partner of Fiore-Ramsbacher, a move that partner John Ramsbacher said at the time was planned in advance of the indictment. In a plea agreement, Fiore agreed that the total tax loss to the government for the purposes of sentencing was $626,623. That amount includes taxes owed for 1999 — for which Fiore pleaded guilty — and understatements of tax for 1996, 1997 and 1998, which were charged in the indictment. — Marie-Anne Hogarth

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