Former Olympic pole vaulter is jailed for three months for failing to declare $1.9m in income while living in Monaco and using some of the cash to pay for second home and kids' private school

  • A judge sentenced Kory Tarpenning to just three months for failing to report about $1.9 million in income and wages over five years while living in Monaco 
  • The Portland born former-athlete represented Team U.S.A. in pole vault for two Summer Olympic Games, in Seoul in 1988 and Barcelona in 1992
  • Tarpenning was charged with failing to report money he received from a $2.4 million commission contract he was awarded after arranging a sponsorship between Nike, Inc. and Association Sportive de Monaco Football Club SA
  • Instead, he allegedly used the funds to pay for a second home in Eugene worth $500,000 in 2015 and to pay for his children's private school tuition in Monaco
  • Prosecutors allege that in the tax years 2014 through 2018 Tarpenning failed to report more than $1.9 million in wages and business income 
  • The judge considered the effect a longer prison term would have on his wife, who suffers from a 'debilitating disease' and relies on Tarpenning for care

Former Olympic pole vaulter Kory M. Tarpenning was sentenced to three months in prison for failing to pay taxes on nearly $2 million he made while living in Monaco - money he used to pay for a second home and private school tuition.   

On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Michael W. Mosman sentenced Tarpenning, who faced a maximum of three years in prison, to just three months for failing to report about $1.9 million in income and wages over five years. 

Tarpenning said in court that he 'deeply regretted' his behavior, Oregonlive.com reported.

The Portland-born former athlete represented Team U.S.A. in pole vault in two Olympics - Seoul in 1988 and Barcelona in 1992, where he placed fourth.

The Portland-born former athlete (pictured) represented Team U.S.A. in pole vault for two Summer Olympic Games, in Seoul in 1988 and Barcelona in 1992, where he placed fourth.

The Portland-born former athlete (pictured) represented Team U.S.A. in pole vault for two Summer Olympic Games, in Seoul in 1988 and Barcelona in 1992, where he placed fourth.

Tarpenning was also the representative responsible for bringing the first Starbucks to Monaco in December 2013 (pictured with Princess Charlene of Monaco at the grand opening)

Tarpenning was also the representative responsible for bringing the first Starbucks to Monaco in December 2013 (pictured with Princess Charlene of Monaco at the grand opening)

Tarpenning (pictured) was charged with failing to report money he received from a $2.4 million commission contract he was awarded after arranging a sponsorship between Nike, Inc. and Association Sportive de Monaco Football Club SA

Tarpenning (pictured) was charged with failing to report money he received from a $2.4 million commission contract he was awarded after arranging a sponsorship between Nike, Inc. and Association Sportive de Monaco Football Club SA

The 59-year-old, who graduated Boston University with a master's in business, moved to Monaco where he lived as a successful brand consultant to U.S. companies interested in expanding operations to Monaco. 

Tarpenning also owns several consulting companies, including Sirius Group SAM and Sirius Sports Marketing.

He was the representative responsible for bringing the first Starbucks to Monaco in December 2013 and was pictured at the coffee shop's grand opening next to Princess of Monaco Charlene.

Tarpenning was charged with failing to report money he received as a commission after arranging a sponsorship between Nike Inc. and Association Sportive de Monaco Football Club SA ('AS Monaco'), a professional soccer team in Monaco. 

The commission contract was valued at about $2.4 million, federal prosecutors said. 

Instead, the 59-year-old transferred his income to personal bank accounts in Monaco and the U.S. He used it to pay for a second home in Eugene, Oregon, worth $500,000 in 2015 and for his children's private school tuition in Monaco, prosecutors said.   

Tarpenning also failed to report income he received from his interests in the two Sirius consulting companies, a company named Tar.CaSAM that operates a Nike store in Monaco, and from the Downstream Monaco SAM consulting firm in Portland, prosecutors said. 

Tarpenning, (pictured in 1996) graduated Boston University with an MBA and lived in Monaco  working as a successful brand consultant to U.S. companies

Tarpenning, (pictured in 1996) graduated Boston University with an MBA and lived in Monaco  working as a successful brand consultant to U.S. companies

Prosecutors allege that in the tax years 2014 through 2018, Tarpenning (second from left) failed to report more than $1.9 million in wages and business income

Prosecutors allege that in the tax years 2014 through 2018, Tarpenning (second from left) failed to report more than $1.9 million in wages and business income

Prosecutors allege that in the tax years 2014 through 2018 Tarpenning (left) failed to report more than $1.9 million in wages and business income

Prosecutors allege that in the tax years 2014 through 2018 Tarpenning (left) failed to report more than $1.9 million in wages and business income

Prosecutors allege that in the tax years 2014 through 2018 Tarpenning failed to report more than $1.9 million in wages and business income, and altogether his  underreporting of income in that time caused the IRS losses of more than $670,000. 

Tarpenning pleaded guilty to one count of filing a false tax return in September. On January 6, Assistant U.S. Attorney Ethan D. Knight urged Mosman to sentence Tarpenning to a year and a half.

Knight recommended the reduced sentence after taking into account Tarpenning had no prior record, had accepted responsibility early, and that a longer prison term would harm his wife, who suffers from an undisclosed 'debilitating disease' and relies on Tarpenning for care, Oregonlive.com reported.   

Tappenning's defense attorneys instead argued for a probationary sentence of three years, and asked the judge to consider his otherwise exceptional life and charity work. 

They said he failed to pay the money because he lost a major client, placing his family in a precarious financial situation, Oregonlive.com reported. 

Mosman said he considered Tarpenning’s crime-free life, age and cooperation. 

He also noted the prosecution’s argument that Tarpenning was driven by greed, but rejected it, referring to his financial condition at the time, Oregonlive.com reported. 

'The idea of Monaco is unusual here and sort of puts a patina of luxury over the whole case that, I think, if I drill down a little further, doesn't hold up,' he said. 'So I accept this is not the worst kind of fraud case, where the person is buying luxury items and living it up.' 

He added that Tarpenning's prison sentence likely would affect his family more.  

'It's sort of a sad irony that very often, the people who have the most to lose by going to prison are people who have the most before they went to prison,' Mosman said.  

'Mr. Tarpenning's wife needs him desperately and will suffer greatly without his care, especially in a pandemic where getting outside care is a challenge,' he added when handing down the three-month sentence. 'If I'm to take that seriously, then I've got to impose a solution or at least significant mitigation.'

Mosman ordered Tarpenning to surrender to the U.S. Marshal’s Service Feb. 17 to begin his sentence, which will be followed by a year of supervised release. 

Advertisement

Former Olympic pole vaulter jailed for three months for failing to declare $1.9m in income

No comments have so far been submitted. Why not be the first to send us your thoughts, or debate this issue live on our message boards.

We are no longer accepting comments on this article.