PORTLAND, Maine — A Greene man who told the IRS he’d rather go to jail than turn over a forklift to pay back taxes pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court to forcible rescue of seized property.

Patrick R. Doyon, 32, in 2010 refused to allow a revenue agent for the Internal Revenue Service to remove a large forklift from his property after it had been seized for nearly $40,000 in back taxes, according to the prosecution version of events to which he pleaded guilty.

A sentencing date has not been set. He remains free on $5,000 unsecured bail.

Doyon was indicted by a federal grand jury in November.

The incident that led to Doyon being charged began in 2006 when a collection case against him was opened by the IRS because he owed taxes for the years 2002 and 2005, according court documents. Doyon was working in the construction industry doing business as Millennium Builders.

Initially, Doyon cooperated with the revenue officer but that cooperation ended in 2008 when he stopped making payments on his back taxes and stopped filing tax returns, court documents said. The IRS officer then began taking steps to collect “the unpaid liabilities by identifying sources of income to levy and assets to seize.”

One of those assets was a large forklift, called a Loadall, according to the prosecution version of events. The revenue officer on Aug. 4, 2010, seized the Loadall and arranged to have it towed from Doyon’s property.

It was not towed away that day because the tow truck that arrived could not navigate the defendant’s driveway with the large piece of equipment, the court document said. When the IRS agent arrived the next day to take possession of it, the Loadall was gone.

In a Sept. 14, 2010, interview with two IRS special agents, Doyon said he would not tell them where the piece of equipment was located even if it meant going to jail, according to the prosecution version of events.

“He stated that the Loadall was valued at $80,000,” the court document said. “He said the auction market was so weak because of the economy and he was not turning over the Loadall to the IRS so the IRS could auction it for $10,000.

“When advised that he could be prosecuted for impeding the IRS, he responded that the IRS could take him to jail and he will sit there rather than tell them where the Loadall was located,” the document said.

Doyon faces up to two years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.