Feds want to foreclose on Alaska lawyer’s properties, including Talkeetna’s historic Fairview Inn, to pay off taxes

A two-story white building with a sign that says Fairview Inn.
The Fairview Inn in Talkeetna. (Jon Konrath/Creative Commons)

A longtime Alaska attorney allegedly owes more than $2 million in back taxes, and the federal government wants to foreclose on a dozen of his properties to pay the debts, according to a lawsuit filed this week.

Among the properties federal attorneys hope to take from Phillip Weidner is Talkeetna’s historic Fairview Inn, built about 100 years ago. Also listed in the lawsuit is a property in Talkeetna that’s been home to a hotdog stand, among other things, as well as a few undeveloped properties in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough and Kenai Peninsula Borough.

Phillip Weidner, in a photo from his law firm’s website

The lawsuit also accuses Weidner of transferring some property to a fictitious limited partnership to “hinder, delay, and defraud Weidner’s creditors, including the United States.”

Weidner, 75, has practiced law in Alaska since 1972, as a defense attorney, sometimes in high-profile cases, and as a personal injury lawyer.

The alleged income tax debts included in the lawsuit stretch back to 2010 and total about $2.18 million, including penalties and interest. The lawsuit also mentions issues with Weidner’s taxes going back further, to 1999 and 2000, and that he didn’t follow through on an agreement in 2014 to sell some property to pay off his taxes.

In a written statement, Weidner acknowledged he’d been trying to work on his tax issues with the Internal Revenue Service.

“It is unfortunate the Complaint was filed as I have been working for years with the IRS through my representatives and counsel seeking to amicably resolve any issues,” he said. “I still hope and expect to do so.”

Weidner added that none of his actions in the matter had been fraudulent.

Federal attorneys in the Department of Justice’s Washington D.C.-based Tax Division, who filed the lawsuit, declined to comment.

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Casey Grove is host of Alaska News Nightly, a general assignment reporter and an editor at Alaska Public Media. Reach him at cgrove@alaskapublic.org. Read more about Casey here

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