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Ankerberg in hot water again

Curt Ankerberg, a perennial candidate for local office who is running for Medford School Board, is under scrutiny for information he provided in the Voter’s Pamphlet.

In the pamphlet he listed his occupation as a “retired CPA.”

According to the Oregon Board of Accountancy, Ankerberg is not supposed to use that title.

Ankerberg may not “assume or use the title or designation ‘certified public accountant,’ or the abbreviation ‘CPA,’ ... This includes, but is but not limited to, the designations ‘CPA Inactive’ and “CPA Retired.’”

Ankerberg got in hot water with the Oregon Board of Accountancy last year after the IRS determined he had committed tax fraud.

Ankerberg was fined $7,000 by the Board of Accountancy in December 2018. The fines were suspended based on his compliance with certain conditions. Those conditions include not calling himself a retired CPA.

Kimberly Fast, executive director of the state agency, said Thursday she couldn’t say why the board had decided to add the condition, and she couldn’t recall another instance of it happening.

“Because he has a final order that he can’t use that title, there is a difference between him and other retired licensees,” she said.

The board set its conditions after the Internal Revenue Service fined Ankerberg for committing tax fraud on three years of his tax returns.

Fast was unable to comment on how the board might address Ankerberg’s Voters’ Pamphlet statement. It next meets May 13.

“It’s not cut-and-dried,” she said.

The Mail Tribune reached out to Ankerberg Thursday for comment. He did not respond.

U.S. Tax Court Judge Mary Ann Cohen determined in January 2018 that Ankerberg failed to report $111,366 in income and improperly claimed $67,000 in deductions from 2012 to 2014.

Ankerberg said that a period of temporary blindness and water on the brain — not fraudulent intent — were the reasons for the discrepancies. After the IRS hit him with negligence and fraud penalties in 2017, Ankerberg appealed to the U.S. Tax Court.

Cohen threw out Ankerberg’s health-related defense because he had prepared 180 tax returns, driven his own vehicle and run for public office during the same period he filed his own inaccurate returns.

In previous communication with the Mail Tribune, Ankerberg said the IRS investigation began as retaliation for reporting three IRS agents earlier.

“The IRS was intent on hitting me with a fraud penalty from the start,” he wrote in an email to the Mail Tribune in March 2018.

Cohen ordered Ankerberg to pay $10,224 for 2012, $25,875 for 2013 and $13,926 for 2014, in addition to penalties of $7,668, $19,406 and $10,444 for those years, respectively.

Ankerberg is running for position 7 on the Medford School Board. He ran for Medford City Council in November, and in the May Republican primary for the District 3 Oregon Senate seat.

He has run for office 12 times, but never won.

Lilia Caballero, who holds the school board seat, and Ruth Moncus are running against him in the May 21 election.

In the Voters’ Pamphlet, Ankerberg said his opponents “have zero financial or management experience,” and that “the current incumbents (including my opponent) have done a poor job.”

Those words are far from the strongest Ankerberg has used against political opponents or community members unrelated to campaigns.

He described his opponent in the senate race, Jessica Gomez, in May 2017 as a “whore of PACs,” and he told Reagan Knopp, who filed an election complaint against him, “You lose c--ks---er, and I’ll show Bill Meyer your complaint and have him roast your little ass. You can suck my d---, motherf---er. You lose.”

During his most recent City Council run in November, Ankerberg told Sunny Spicer, the executive director of nonprofit Kid Time, that if he was elected, “you’d be looking for a new office space for your business.”

That was after he called her a “dumbass slovenly pig” and later a “worthless hog.”

Ankerberg also suggested to Spicer in the same message that she run for the Medford School Board.

“I have zero interest in the job,” he wrote.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Kaylee Tornay at ktornay@rosebudmedia.com or 541-776-4497. Follow her on Twitter @ka_tornay.

Curt Ankerberg