While death and taxes are always certain, take lesson from Amy Bosley that you should never mix them together.
These are busy days for Joe Yates. The brisk fall air has ushered in a long ledger of names. Home owners in need of having their chimneys swept and inspected. And those with chimney emergencies who summon Yates 24 hours a day. These are also somber days for the 6-foot-5 inch, 280 pound Pendleton County man, known to many Northern Kentuckians as simply “Big Joe.”
“Big Joe,” who is 30, has a tall top hat and tails to fill. It’s a hat he wishes would never have been left vacant. “Big Joe,” is one of 14, who lost their boss and their jobs in the early hours of May 17, 2005.
That boss was Robert Bosley, owner of Bosley Roofing and Chimney Sweep in Alexandria, who was shot to death as he slept in his small cabin in Campbell County. Robert was the owner of Bosley Roofing and Chimney Sweep of Alexandria, and a member of St. Peter & Paul Church, National Chimney Sweep Guild, Alexandria Businessman’s Association and he was a private pilot. Robert who lived to age 42 was murdered by his wife Amy Bosley. The reason? Amy did not want Robert to know the huge business debts and IRS debts she had racked up. Yes this is another story of how outstanding IRS debt contributed to the death of a taxpayer.
Robert was born Aug. 6, 1962 in Campbell County Kentucky. With his wife, Amy, they were making a name for themselves in their small Kentucky community. Together they ran a successful roofing and chimney sweep business eventually turning it into somewhat of a local empire with Amy right beside him handing the bookkeeping.
Amy Bosley was the archetypal American dream wife…attractive, kind and funny, a devoted mother, a valued business partner to her husband, an untiring charity worker and community stalwart in the small town of Campbell, Kentucky.
Together they were like local royalty with their million-dollar roofing business and being active volunteers in their community. They had sports cars, horses, their own plane and a 50-ft motor-yacht. They also planned to build a castle-like mansion on their 35-acre estate. It was on this land, mainly remote woods, that the Bosley’s had built their weekend retreat, a luxury cabin.
Nightmare In The Woods.
But that dream became a nightmare at dawn on a May morning in 2005 when 38-year-old Amy rang police in floods of tears to report that an intruder had broken into their remote luxury cabin deep in woodland in Campbell County.
“Someone is breaking into my house,” Amy frantically told a 911 dispatcher.
The conversation then abruptly ends.
So the 911 dispatcher called back and getting through to Amy asks if the intruder was still in the house?
Amy replied: He just left but he shot my husband. Oh my God, he shot my husband!!
Moments later a patrolman arrived at the Bosley’s cabin. Amy Bosley tells him, He shot my husband, he shot my husband! She tells him the intruder fled out the back door. The patrolman pushes past her and there, lying on the bed is Robert Bosley riddled with bullets. His lips were blue. He was dead. He was face down on the bed, shot 7 times. The room and the rest of the cabin, had been ransacked – possessions and clothes strewn around the doors and windows broken.
The Bosleys’ two sons, Trevor, nine, and Morgan, six, asleep in a first-floor loft bedroom had not been harmed although they had been woken by the commotion and told to stay in their room by their mother.
Police searched the house and grounds, but no intruder was found. Amy Bosley in a state of shock was taken to the house of friends. She described the intruder as a white guy in his thirties, very tall and with a pointed very mean face.
Police launched a manhunt for the intruder using sniffer dogs and helicopters but no one was found. The lead investigator immediately suspected something was wrong with Amy’s story. Robert had been shot seven times while sleeping, and his gun was missing. Also missing were the shell casings, which should have littered the crime scene. Indeed, surveying the wreckage, one hardened detective muttered to a colleague: “This is overkill…No intruder would kill the guy like this and then destroy the place.” Detective Dave Fickensecher said later “You could see bullet-holes everywhere. The once immaculate cabin was a shambles. Whatever had gone on was extremely violent.”
Amy Bosley made a tearful statement in a press conference held the next day in which she said: “We have every faith in the police department and the investigation to find this killer. We are helping the authorities in every way we can. Unfortunately as of now all I can remember is that I woke up and was on the floor. I heard shots and I saw a man leave the house.”
Soon afterwards police investigations began to reveal that the Bosley marriage had not been as idyllic as Amy claimed it to be. Robert spent most weekends on his boat on nearby Lake Cumberland holding parties at which most of the guests were women.
Friends said that Robert would be on the lake for days at a time and refuse to tell Amy who he was with and when he would be back. But not all the Bosley’s secrets concerned Robert’s extramarital affairs. A close study of the finances of the roofing company, of which Amy was financial director, showed that the apparently booming enterprise was going bust.
Police also discovered a motive: the Bosley’s were deep in debt, and, unknown to Robert, the IRS was literally knocking at their door over a $1.5 million tax bill. Amy it seemed was destroying the business by embezzling nearly $2 million which should have been paid to the IRS. In fact during the investigation into the murder, police discovered something suspicious in Amy’s car: hundreds of unmailed checks to the IRS totaling about $1.7 million in back taxes.
Weeks before the shooting, Amy met with an IRS Revenue Officer who informed her they were investigating Robert for nonpayment of taxes. According to police, Amy went to great lengths to keep the tax problems from her husband even going as far as to impersonate him over the phone. She also got a P.O. Box for the business which Robert did not know about and had all IRS notices go to that box so Robert would not be aware of this problem. But this tax problem was coming to a head and Robert was to hear about it firsthand from the Revenue Officer himself.
Crime Scene Staged?
Throughout the investigation, police, prosecutors, townspeople and even the Bosley family had their suspicions about who committed the crime — Amy Bosley, something she vehemently denied. “I had no reason to shoot him,” she told police. But the Bosley’s unusual marriage, the looming IRS investigation, Amy’s story of an intruder and her behavior following the murder just didn’t seem to add up.
“Her actions weren’t appropriate. He’s dead just two hours and she’s bashing him in a police interview,” said Fickenscher. Prosecutors felt her crying was forced and not at all genuine. “Her husband had just been killed and even though she would do the same crying out, no one saw a tear fall from her eye,” said an investigator.
Authorities said even the crime scene looked staged. Around the body police found just two bullet shell casings; the others were found in the most unusual of places, like the bottom of the washing machine. According to Amy’s lawyer, Jim Morgan, those casings were old, probably left in Robert’s jeans from target practice. “Just like coins typically fall out of your pocket in the washing machine, the shell casings [did too],” he said.
Police don’t buy that explanation and had their own theory. The day of the murder, the IRS was coming to audit the business’s books, potentially exposing Amy’s secret. Police say Amy might have felt that the only way to make the tax problem go away was to kill her husband. “The IRS was investigating Robert Bosley and if Robert Bosley couldn’t tell them otherwise, then he could be at fault,” said Fickenscher.
Ten days after Robert Bosley was shot and killed, Amy was arrested for the murder. She insisted she was innocent, but a week later another piece of incriminating evidence turned up in Amy’s purse — a Glock handgun. It was the same type of gun used to kill her husband. Even though police had no doubt they’d found the murder weapon, authorities couldn’t definitively match it to the lead slugs that struck Robert Bosley because the slugs were too mutilated.
The Surprising Outcome
Amy first pleaded not guilty, but her case didn’t hold up well during a dramatic four-hour pretrial hearing.
While there was a mountain of circumstantial evidence against Amy, prosecutors admitted they didn’t have a slam dunk. But statements Amy’s children, Morgan, 9, and Trevor, 6, gave to police following the murder would become the strongest piece of evidence. “The first thing that woke the children up was gunshots,” said the investigator. “The children heard the glass breaking after the gunshots,” the investigator added, which would contradict Amy’s story of an intruder break-in.
Their testimony was crucial, but no one wanted to force young children who had already lost their father to testify against their mother. As a result, prosecutors reluctantly offered Amy Bosley a deal — the minimum sentence of 20 years if she pleaded guilty — and to everyone’s surprise she took the deal. “Amy entered a plea for one reason, and that was to save her children from testifying,” said her attorney, who maintains his client is not guilty. Robert’s parents who are now raising the couple’s two children were happy to hear that the kids would be spared from having to testify against their mother.
In November 2005, Amy Bosley was sentenced to 20 years for murder and five years for the tampering charge. The sentences to be served concurrently. Unfortunately, the IRS would still be looking to collect the over $1.7 million in payroll taxes from Robert’s estate.
Don’t Take The Chance And Lose Everything You Have Worked For.
Protect yourself. If you are being audited or investigated by IRS or in danger of wage garnishments or bank levies or having a tax lien placed against your property, stand up to the IRS and your State Tax Agency by getting representation. Tax problems are usually a serious matter and must be handled appropriately so it’s important to that you’ve hired the best lawyer for your particular situation. The tax attorneys at the Law Offices Of Jeffrey B. Kahn, P.C. located in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and elsewhere in California are highly skilled in handling tax matters and can effectively represent at all levels with the IRS and State Tax Agencies including tax audits, criminal tax investigations and attempted prosecutions, undisclosed foreign bank accounts and other foreign assets, and unreported foreign income.
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