Archives: Tax Fraud

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Heat Rises on Indicted Former Tax Court Judge Diane Kroupa as Husband-Codefendant Pleads Guilty

On September 23, 2016, Robert Fackler, the husband and now co-defendant of former Tax Court Judge Diane Kroupa, pleaded guilty to corruptly impeding the IRS, a felony that carries a maximum three-year prison sentence. It is unclear whether the plea agreement calls for Fackler to cooperate with the government’s prosecution of his wife. Considering that … Continue Reading

Tennessee Legislator Convicted of Tax Fraud

On August 8, 2016, Tennessee State Rep. Joseph Armstrong (D-Tenn.) was convicted by a federal district court jury of filing a false federal income tax return, and acquitted of tax evasion and conspiracy. Armstrong’s conviction arose from an ingenious but morally dubious scheme to profit personally from a tax increase that he helped push through the … Continue Reading

Forensic Accountant and Certified Fraud Examiner Pleads Guilty to Concealing UBS Account

On October 3, 2014, according to a U.S. Attorney’s Office press release and court records, Howard Bloomberg, a forensic accountant and certified fraud examiner, pleaded guilty to one count of failure to file an FBAR reporting his interest in a bank account at UBS in Switzerland.  The account, which Bloomberg opened in 1997, held as … Continue Reading

Bank Julius Baer Customer Implicated in Alleged Tax Fraud

Reuters is reporting that Bank Julius Baer is cooperating with French authorities in their criminal investigation into an alleged value-added-tax (“VAT”) fraud in the EU Emissions Trading System.  In July, Bank Julius Baer announced that it was involved in a tax fraud investigation involving a former client and that it was suspected of exercising a … Continue Reading

Court of Appeals Rules 23-Day Notice Requirement for Third Party Summonses is Mandatory in Tenth Circuit

In Jewell v. U.S., Taxpayer Sam Jewell was the subject of an IRS investigation which resulted in third party summonses being issued to banks located in both the Eastern and Western Districts of Oklahoma.  Mr. Jewell challenged both summonses because the IRS failed to provide him with notice of the summonses at least 23 days … Continue Reading

IRS Collecting More Revenue, Prosecuting More Criminal Cases

The IRS has released Fiscal Year 2013 Enforcement statistics.  In FY 2013, IRS Enforcement collected more revenue than FY 2012, with fewer employees and while examining fewer returns than in FY 2012.  Collection activities, such as levies, liens and seizures all dropped significantly.  However, criminal investigations and prosecutions have risen. The IRS statistics can be … Continue Reading

Federal Court Shuts Down Instant Tax Service

Tax Analysts Tax Notes reports that on November 6, 2013, Judge Timothy S. Black of the Southern District of Ohio permanently shut down Instant Tax Service, which claims to be the fourth largest tax return preparation firm in the nation.  The order said that Instant Tax Service cheated largely low-income customers by marketing fraudulent loan … Continue Reading

Maryland Lawyer Pleads Guilty to Under-reporting Income Diverted from Law Practice

Tax Analysts Tax Notes reports that Potomac, Maryland, attorney George Nelson Smith pleaded guilty on November 1, 2013 to filing a false tax return and failing to file a tax return.  According to his plea agreement, Smith is an attorney and owner of the Smith Law Firm, which specialized in litigating tort actions. Smith did … Continue Reading

Taxpayer Advocate Continues to Criticize Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Programs

In an update to her December 2012 report, the Taxpayer Advocate has noted that the IRS still has not provided reasonable options for “benign actors”, or taxpayers who inadvertently violated the rules for reporting foreign accounts.  The Taxpayer Advocate noted that the IRS revocation of pre-clearance letters had damaged IRS credibility and might lead to … Continue Reading

GAO recommends IRS Step Up Enforcement Measures for Dentists, Doctors and Other Medical Services Providers Who Receive Medicaid Funds

In a report issued July 27, 2012, the GAO recommended that the IRS “explore opportunities to enhance collection of unpaid taxes from Medicaid providers, including the use of continuous levies.”  The GAO reviewed Medicaid reimbursement information from the three states which received the most Medicaid funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment  Act of 2009.  … Continue Reading

New Foreign Asset Reporting Requirements for 2011 Returns

The HIRE Act of 2010 enacted Section 6038D which requires single taxpayers to report ownership of specified foreign financial assets which in aggregate exceed $50,000 on new Form 8938, which is filed with an individual’s Form 1040.  Various dollar thresholds apply to individuals who do not file single taxpayer returns.  Individuals required to file Form … Continue Reading

Careful Attention to Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Cases

Baker Hostetler’s lawyers have handled hundreds of voluntary disclosures through the 2009 and 2011 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Programs (OVDI).  Recently, the IRS has announced a third OVDI, this time with no defined termination date. The OVDI programs provide important protections for those who might face criminal prosecution for unreported income or unfiled informational returns.  The … Continue Reading

IRS Grants Additional Time To File FBARs

Today, the IRS announced an extension until November 1, 2011 for taxpayers who did not file TD F 90-22.1 (FBARs) forms in prior years.  For those taxpayers who only had signatory authority over a foreign account and did not own the account in 2009 or prior years, additional time has been granted to gather the necessary information … Continue Reading

U.S. Taxpayers Living Abroad – Reduced Penalties To Come Clean

In a bid to encourage U.S. taxpayers living abroad to file U.S. tax returns and FBARs, the IRS has significantly reduced the civil penalties associated with the 2011 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative.  On June 2, 2011, the IRS announced new rules applicable to U.S taxpayers who live outside the United States.  If qualified, taxpayers can file delinquent FBARs (Report of Foreign … Continue Reading

John Doe Summons Granted for US Account Holders at HSBC

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California has granted the Department of Justice request to allow the IRS to issue a John Doe Summons on HSBC-India.  The government seeks records of U.S. taxpayers who hold accounts at the bank.  The evidence supporting the court petition suggests HSBC India was engaged in activity that … Continue Reading

More Taxpayers Face Indictments For Undeclared UBS Accounts

Over the last two weeks, the Department of Justice announced a number of indictments and plea agreements involving taxpayers who had undeclaired off-shore accounts.  Several of these cases involved UBS account holders who either failed to make voluntary disclosures in a timely manner or were caught by the IRS prior to any action being taken to come clean.  … Continue Reading