A man who years ago was the subject of an Eyewitness News investigation after allegations surfaced that he defrauded a host of Catholic charities is now facing federal tax evasion charges.

Years ago, Michael Galloway owned the popular “Catholic Online” website, as well as many of other Catholic-themed internet domains. His tax evasion case is before a jury this week at the federal courthouse in Fresno.

At issue is tens of thousands of dollars Galloway reportedly owed the IRS from 2003 to 2006. The government hopes to prove he underpaid taxes and later misled the IRS in an attempt to get out of paying what he owed.

Catholic Online billed itself as “The Global Leader in Catholic On-line Donations and Payments,” a supposed Catholic version of PayPal that accepted charitable giving and then distributed payments to the appropriate organizations. It was the subject of a lawsuit by the Kern County District Attorney’s Office, which alleged years of deceptive or fraudulent business practices.

Galloway agreed to pay restitution of $210,000 to several charities.

In a separate legal proceeding, the state labor board made him pay three former employees tens of thousands of dollars in disputed earnings.

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Full story at Bakersfield Now.

Previous CalCatholic story about Michael Galloway, published on May 26, 2008: “Defendants owe over $25,000”