Game developer David Rushton, former head of the handheld studio Sensory Sweep, has been sentenced to 18 months in jail for tax fraud and racketeering. Judge Robin Reese of the Third District Court in Utah handed down the sentence, and also ordered Rushton to pay $516,816 in restitution.

"Failing to pay taxes and filing fake tax returns is not a game," says Attorney General Mark Shurtleff.  "These crimes have real consequences on our schools and for those who think the law does not apply to them."

Rushton pleaded guilty to one third-degree felony count of failing to pay taxes and one second-degree felony count of engaging in a pattern of unlawful activity.

Sensory Sweep was formed in 2005, and developed games like Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005, Justice League Heroes, Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting for the DS. However, the company had fallen into murky financial waters. In 2009, the U.S. Department of Labor charged the company with failing to pay 200 employees for 100 days work -- a total of about $2 million in unpaid wages.

Rushton also apparently stole employee payroll taxes and  either failed to file or filed fraudulent W2 tax returns between 2006 and 2008.

Sounds like a hell of a guy. Hope he enjoys prison life.

[via Kotaku]