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Tax Crimes and the Penalties That Result From Them

Articles/News, Offshore Account Update

Posted on December 30, 2016 |

Authorities throughout the United States have been aggressively pursuing individuals suspected of tax evasion, along with the institutions that helped them. Among recent criminal cases include convictions against individuals who helped clients to file fraudulent tax returns; convictions against individuals who ran a fraud ring and collected refunds inappropriately using information from deceased individuals; and a conviction against a man who embezzled $3 million from clients and failed to report the income to the IRS.

While taxing authorities pursue criminal charges for lots of different kinds of unlawful behavior, there has been a special focus on going after people who don't report offshore accounts and who don't pay taxes on offshore income. There is a Swiss Bank program set up to get offshore banks to turn over client info in exchange for non-prosecution deals, and U.S. authorities are using this info to bring civil and criminal cases.

There are also many other efforts to identify offshore tax evaders, including an amnesty program for individuals. A Boston criminal tax lawyer can provide assistance to those who have been accused of wrongdoing and can help other account holders who are not yet charged to explore ways to avoid prosecution.

Crackdown on Offshore Tax Evaders

One recent case demonstrates the serious consequences that can occur when the Department of Justice Tax Division identifies undeclared offshore accounts.

The case involves a business professor who kept millions offshore in Swiss bank accounts. He had invested in startups through offshore Swiss investment accounts. He had some of his accounts in his own name, and some in the name of a nominee.  At one time, as much as $200 million may have been held within his offshore accounts.

He failed to report the existence of these accounts to the IRS, which offshore account holders are required to do each year. He also filed false tax returns, and got the nominee to file false tax forms, over a multi-year period.  He omitted at least $73 million in come that he should have reported to the IRS and he may have saved himself around $10 million in tax liability.

He was charged with various offenses for these behaviors, including filing false expatriation forms; participating in a conspiracy to defraud the United States, failure to file foreign bank account reports, and more.

He pled guilty to the crimes for which he was charged.  He had to pay a $100 million penalty for not reporting his bank accounts.  He also potentially faces five years in prison and will be sentenced in February of 2017.  After he entered his guilty plea, the Department of Justice announced the plea and stated: “Today's guilty plea proves, once again, that taxpayers will pay a heavy price when they choose to secrete funds in foreign bank accounts and evade tax and reporting obligations.”

You do not want to take a chance on becoming the next person who the IRS decides to take action against. It is important to speak with attorney Kevin Thorn as soon as possible to discover options you may have for coming forward and declaring your own offshore accounts in exchange for lower penalties and avoiding criminal charges. He will discuss all of your options with you and help you to decide on the best course of action.

For a consultation, contact Kevin E. Thorn, Managing Partner, at ket@thornlawgroup.com or (617) 692-2989

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