Town Square

Post a New Topic

Pleasanton man indicted for lying to IRS

Original post made on Mar 22, 2011

A Pleasanton man faces two federal charges for allegedly lying to the IRS, according to United States Attorney Melinda Haag. William A. Hirst was indicted March 17 on two counts of making false statements to the Internal Revenue Service.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, March 22, 2011, 11:42 AM

Comments (23)

Posted by James Monroe
a resident of Las Positas
on Mar 22, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Why is it that it is a federal crime to lie to an IRS agent, yet when HA when, the government lies to a people HA when, it's not a federal crime?

Posted by Uh OK?
a resident of Downtown
on Mar 22, 2011 at 1:23 pm

Thanks for the facts folks. But what's the "story"?

Posted by patriot
a resident of Old Towne
on Mar 22, 2011 at 1:29 pm

The story is that some overpaid public workers in the INS have overstepped their bounds by attempting to regulate private enterprise. C'mon people, let's keep government regulators out of our private affairs. Let capitalism do its job.

Posted by Timothy T
a resident of Downtown
on Mar 22, 2011 at 4:10 pm


Posted by No IRS fan
a resident of Downtown
on Mar 23, 2011 at 8:36 am

Read the article--this isn't a matter of padding his deducations a little; he "signed and dated three fabricated deeds in the name of an individual who was deceased." I'm sure there are many other details about this story. I'm sure not a big fan of the IRS, but this is the kind of guy who scams people and businesses. "Attempting to regulate private enterprise"? How do you conclude that? I'm glad he's facing some serious consequences for this.

Posted by Common Sense
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 23, 2011 at 8:40 am

Boy, is our government bored or what? Geez! This is not a news worthy story. Lots of more important things going on right now.

Posted by J Flack
a resident of Stoneridge Park
on Mar 23, 2011 at 9:20 am

What part isn't clear to you commenters?

Try to find three deeds in Alameda county that when added together don't add up to at least a million dollars.

After somebody died this fraudster (if convicted) created deeds and notarized them implying the property belonged to somebody other than the rightful heirs.

When a local DA can't get enough evidence to prove theft or if the statue of limitations has run out, they ask the Feds to address the injustice using the kinds of laws that put Al Capone in Alcatraz.

This person, (if convicted) is a white collar criminal, he tried to steal a lot more than the kid that breaks into a car at the Mall.

I don't know what you want the government to be doing, but this is in their jurisdiction.

The "story" is that white collar crime is prosecuted. This dude didn't fudge on his 1040, he consciously faked and notarized signatures.

Posted by member
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 23, 2011 at 9:49 am

I have know Bill Hirst for over 35 years and I don't believe one word of this story. He's the most honest guy I have ever met, I bet there is more to this story that was reported.

Posted by Patriot
a resident of Old Towne
on Mar 23, 2011 at 10:03 am

Look, this is what capitalists do. Fraud, hiding assets, padding deductions, fabricating documents of ownership. What's not to like? Those who are best at doing these things succeed. Its a dog-eat-dog world. We call them heroes because they hire the poor suckers who don't have what it takes to swindle and exploit. Government regulators want to put an end to these white collar practices. It's what all Democrats do in order to stop this great country from moving forward: regulate, regulate, regulate. If they find Hirst guilty, I'll be the first to vote for him as mayor.

Posted by comment
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 23, 2011 at 12:16 pm

J Flack,

We can't just regulate, regulate, tax, tax, tax our way to prosperity! Government is not the answer. They need to leave this guy alone. Will the liberals stop at nothing?

Posted by Nellie
a resident of Del Prado
on Mar 23, 2011 at 1:08 pm

The story isn't about liberals or conservatives, it's about everyone properly paying their share. Clearly Hirst should get his day in court over this, but like 'Flack' says, on the surface it appears someone attempting to steal far more than some car break-in at the mall. People who think important transactions out can always avoid having big brother step on you. Gross non-attention to detail or white collar criminal, hope it gets properly sorted out.

Posted by Patriot
a resident of Old Towne
on Mar 23, 2011 at 4:07 pm

Name me a successful businessman who hasn't done the same kinds of thing that Hirst is being charged with. This is clearly a bunch of overpaid public worker bureaucrats using our tax dollars in an attempt to regulate our private lives. We don't need regulators. It's just a waste of taxpayer money. Give everyone a gun. Let the free market regulate itself. Let the free market determine who is guilty and who isn't. Roll back Democratic Party regulatory efforts to disrupt the free flow of legal and illegal goods.

Posted by common sense
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 23, 2011 at 7:43 pm

Imagine, someone in Pleasanton lies, how could that be, lol.

Posted by Colette
a resident of Del Prado
on Mar 24, 2011 at 8:40 am

Patriot - Thankfully I can name a lot of successful businessmen who haven't done the same things! I happen to be married to one of them. And boy am I thankful for that!

Posted by Lugnut
a resident of Avila
on Mar 24, 2011 at 9:12 am

Businesses lie alot. A donut place in Gene's Shopping Center rarely closes her cash register drawer, thus never registering the cash sale she has made unless you ask for a receipt. I questioned her once and she could not get rid of me fast enough. I don't spend my money there. Tax cheat.....

Posted by Patriot
a resident of Old Towne
on Mar 24, 2011 at 9:23 am

Collette, You sound like Tony Soprano's wife. We all know that behind every successful businessman there is a hidden portfolio stuffed with unethical behavior. That's human nature, and capitalism brings out the best in us. It's the regulators who are so intrusive into our private lives that I find so distasteful. If it isn't workplace safety, it's pollution. If it isn't enforcing civil rights, it's collecting taxes for nonessentials like education. Remove the liberal state, let us police ourselves by arming ourselves, and then all of us can more honestly and openly behave like Tony Soprano.

Posted by Question for lugnut
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 24, 2011 at 9:51 am

So, you don't purchase donuts anymore at the donut place? But do you put money into and have a checking account with the bank? Do you purchase essential items like clothes and shoes at any of the box stores in Pleasanton. I ask because my strong hunch is that your bank is no different from the donut lady, only the bank operates on a much larger scale. Why punish the donut lady? And besides, how do you know the donut lady with the open register owns the donut store? And how are you certain that she doesn't close the register after you've departed the store? Are you the kind of guy who likes to kick down and kiss up? It kinna sounds like it.

Posted by Legaleagle
a resident of Nolan Farms
on Mar 24, 2011 at 1:01 pm

Ignoring the off topic posts, this is newsworthy for our little community. As an attorney, I can tell you these are serious accusations and if the FEDS have agreed to spend our tax funds prosecuting Mr. Hirst, it means they have enough evidence to convict him. I haven't heard that he is going to plead not-guilty. This is news worthy because Mr. Hirst has been a respected member of the legal community in Pleasanton as well as a member of the Castlewood Country club for years. From a legal standpoint, it looks like he was trying to fix his mistakes by "doctoring" documents. This is not ethical no matter what the excuse. Attorneys are held to high ethical standards and if he pleads out or is convicted, his State Bar License is gone too because this is moral turpitude. You don't lie to government agencies. It is wrong. Plus, if he did this, he threw away an otherwise very good reputation and career that he worked very hard to obtain. I find this very sad and having nothing to do with capitalism or politics. This has to do with ethical standards and the fact that Mr. Hirst has been a fiduciary for a long time and a lot of innocent, hard working people that have paid him fees based on fiduciary trust and professional reputation. Now, those people, former clients, will have good reason to question his integrity and have to pay fees to other attorneys to check his work. Most of these people are seniors living on fixed incomes so this is sad.

Posted by Ayn Rand
a resident of Birdland
on Mar 24, 2011 at 6:59 pm

Feds this, feds that. Legal-schmegel. Ethics are for wimps. He wouldn't have gotten charged without state intrusion into his private affairs. The private sector should be respected for being private. Anything else is an intrusion upon our personal liberty. Here's a case of Hirst pursuing excellence the way he as an individual defines it. How are people to get ahead if the state intervenes like this? Let me say this. When I go to an attorney, I want one willing to break the law for me.

Posted by Frank Capilla
a resident of Deer Oaks/Twelve Oaks
on Mar 25, 2011 at 3:10 pm

I've known Bill Hirst personally and professionally for over 36 years. Over those years we have grown to be good friends. I've always known Bill to be 100% honest. He is the rare person that you can do business with on a hand shake. I ask everyone, please do not pass judgement on this man until all the facts are in. I'm sure when all this is over, Bill Hirst will come out on top. I will personally do anything I can, to help Bill (and his family) get through this challenge. Good Luck Bill, your friends are all pulling for you.
Frank Capilla

Posted by Chris Beratlis
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 28, 2011 at 6:03 pm

I'm a lifelong resident of Pleasanton & I have known Bill for 43 years. He has had the highest degree of ethics & morals of anybody I have known.

I was a Pleasanton city council member when we hired him as the city attorney in the 60's & he served this city very well during his years as our attorney.

I want to hear his side of the story which will come out in the end.

Posted by Don Kallenberg
a resident of Birdland
on Mar 31, 2011 at 9:05 am

The recent revelation that Bill Hirst has been indicted for allegedly lying to the IRS comes as a complete shock to me!I have known Bill as a friend and family attorney for many years.His professional integrity has never a question with me The possibility of him being sentenced to prison and possiblly a huge fine are beyond comprehensive.

Don Kallenberg

Posted by Scott
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Apr 27, 2011 at 6:37 am

I grew up with a family member of the Hirst clan....This comes at a complete surprise to me and i am sure there is a lot that is not being said....He is a stand up guy!!

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Post a comment

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay informed.

Get the day's top headlines from sent to your inbox in the Express newsletter.

Premiere! “I Do I Don’t: How to build a better marriage” – Here, a page/weekday
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,586 views

Community foundations want to help local journalism survive
By Tim Hunt | 20 comments | 1,174 views


Support local families in need

Your contribution to the Pleasanton Weekly Holiday Fund will go directly to nonprofits supporting local families and children in need. Last year, Pleasanton Weekly readers contributed over $83,000 to support eight safety-net nonprofits right here in the Tri-Valley.