Supreme Court Rules Tax Perjury and Aiding & Assisting Are Deportable Aggravated Felonies

The Supreme Court yesterday decided Kawashima v. Holder, ___ U.S. ___, ___ S.Ct. ___, 2012 U.S. LEXIS 1084 (2012) , enhanced opinion available to lexis.com subscribers with summary, headnotes, and Shepard's. (Non-subscribers can download the unenhanced official opinion issued by the United States...

Another Plea Involving Offshore Accounts

DOJ Tax has this press release, Tennessee Couple Plead Guilty to Tax Crimes , cryptically reporting a plea by two taxpayers, husband and wife, to two counts of willful failure to file income tax returns ( Section 7203 ). In relevant part, the press release says: Additionally, during the years in...

Fifth Amendment Act of Production Privilege and Encrypted Data Files

In In re: Grand Jury Subpoena Duces Tecum Dated March 25, 2011, ___ F.3d ___, 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 3894 (11th Cir. 2012) , enhanced opinion available to lexis.com subscribers with core terms, case links, and Shepard's, (Non-subscribers can download the unenhanced official opinion of In re: Grand...

Concerns and Strategies in Parallel Investigations

One of the risks in eggshell civil audits -- where risk of criminal prosecution is material -- is the possibility of parallel investigations. Parallel investigations are simultaneous civil investigations and criminal investigations. These can involve the same agency and cooperating agencies (such as...

Rambo Judge Grants Mercy to Convicted Foreign Account Holder

In United States v. Purpura , 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28748 (MD PA 2012), Judge Sylvia H. Rambo granted the convicted defendant's motion to withdraw his plea of guilty to two counts of tax perjury, Section 7206(2) related to a false answer to the Schedule B foreign account question. The opinion is...

Ninth Circuit Speaks on FOIA, but Ducks Fugitive Disentitlement

A common parry in a tax criminal investigation or prosecution is to file a FOIA request with the IRS. The IRS / DOJ thrust is to resist. I provide at the end of this blog a general discussion of FOIA and the theories of resistance. In Shannahan v. United States, ___ F.3d ___, 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS...

Plea Bargains Generally and in Tax Cases; Moneyball

In two cases, the Supreme Court has recognized the central role of plea bargaining in the criminal system and held the right to effective assistance of counsel extends to advising the client in plea negotiations. Missouri v. Frye, ___ U.S. ___, 2012 U.S. LEXIS 2321 (2012) (enhanced opinion available...

Trust Fund Tax Convictions Affirmed

In United States v. DeMuro, ___ F.3d ___, 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 8094 (3d Cir. 2012) , enhanced opinion available to lexis.com subscribers, (Non-subscribers can download the unenhanced official opinion here ), the Demuros, husband and wife, were convicted of "conspiracy to defraud the United States...

Second Circuit Reverses and Vacates Convictions for Wire Fraud and Tax Evasion

In United States v. Litwok, ___ F.3d ___, 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 8727 (2d Cir. 2012), here , the Second Circuit upset convictions for wire fraud and tax evasion, applying seeming settled principles. I address first the tax evasion convictions, although the Court addressed first the wire fraud conviction...

Second Circuit Reverses and Vacates Convictions for Wire Fraud and Tax Evasion

In United States v. Litwok, ___ F.3d ___, 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 8727 (2d Cir. 2012), here , the Second Circuit upset convictions for wire fraud and tax evasion, applying seeming settled principles. I address first the tax evasion convictions, although the Court addressed first the wire fraud conviction...

Convictions of Mail Fraud, False Claims and Conspiracy; Use of Offshore Accounts

According to a DOJ Press Release, Curtis Morris and Richard Kellog Armstrong were convicted of "for mail fraud, filing false claims against the United States and conspiracy to file false claims against the United States." "Morris was found guilty of three counts of mail fraud, seventeen...

Convictions of Mail Fraud, False Claims and Conspiracy; Use of Offshore Accounts

According to a DOJ Press Release, Curtis Morris and Richard Kellog Armstrong were convicted of "for mail fraud, filing false claims against the United States and conspiracy to file false claims against the United States." "Morris was found guilty of three counts of mail fraud, seventeen...

Cincinnati Attorney Pleads to Tax Obstruction

Suzanne Land, a Cincinnati attorney, has pled to one count of tax obstruction, Section 7212(a), here , a three year felony. The DOJ Tax press release is here . I will obtain the guilty plea when available and post it. The press release describes her conduct as follows: According to the plea agreement...

Another UBS Depositor Pleads Guilty

Yesterday, Humberto Gomez pled guilty, according to a DOJ Tax press release, here [the link is not yet available; I will post the link when I have it]. ... The tax loss seems low. The press release says: "For the years 2006 and 2007, the criminal tax loss associated with the Bullrush account...

Pastor Going to Trial for Tax Charges Predicted Jesus Would Come On May 27

I have previously blogged on Ronald Weinland. See Controversial Pastor, Self Proclaimed Prophet, Indicted re Income from Church Offerings and Offshore Accounts (11/21/11), here . My impression from afar is that he is just a charlatan (see here ) in the guise of a religious person. Just in case he has...

New Indictment of U.S. Tax Return Preparers & Enablers re Offshore Bank & Related Activity

In a First Superseding Indictment, here , filed June 14, 2012 in CD CA, three principals of a tax return preparation service, United Revenue Service ("URS") were indicted. The DOJ Tax Press Release is here, Three Tax Return Preparers Charged With Helping Clients Evade Taxes By Hiding Millions...

Tax Court Finds IRS Compliance Officer Liable for Civil Fraud Penalty

Readers interested in the risks of being audited with respect to income tax noncompliance arising from foreign assets (particularly financial accounts) often ask what it takes for the IRS to prove fraud. I am aware of no standard litmus test of civil tax fraud that will identify, particularly for laymen...

Defendant Waives Attorney-Client Privilege by Asserting Reliance on FBAR Advice Defense

In United States v. Kerr, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98836 (D AZ 2012) , a case with two U.S. taxpayers and their lawyer as defendants, the court held that the indicted U.S. taxpayers' claims of reliance constituted a waiver of their attorney-client privilege with respect to communications with their...

Tax Court Finds Fraud Based, in Part, On Negative Inference from Fifth Amendment Assertion

In Loren-Maltese v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2012-214 , the Tax Court introduces the legal issues as follows: It's the facts that make this case interesting, but there are three issues of law that color its background: the general rules of tax fraud, the proper tax treatment of money taken by...

Ninth Circuit Oral Argument on Act of Production Doctrine

The Record, a California legal publication, reports on oral argument in a case involved the act of production doctrine which says, in effect, that although the contents of documents may not be privileged, a witness under compulsion to produce the documents via subpoena or summons still has a Fifth Amendment...

IRS Queasiness Over the Reaches of Allen

I have recently blogged on the issue of whether the fraud of some person other than the taxpayer signing the return which makes the return fraudulent allows the IRS an unlimited statute of limitations under Section 6501(c)(1), here . I list below the blogs that deal with that issue. In Allen v. Commissioner...

Petition for Certiorari on Deliberate / Willful Ignorance / Conscious Avoidance / Ostrich Instruction

The second issue raised in both the Walton and the Brooks petitions for certiorari in United States v. Brooks, 681 F.3d 678 (5th Cir. 2012), Wesley C. Walton v. United States of America and James Brooks v. United States of America , is whether the trial court properly instructed the jury on deliberate...

Tax Conviction and Sentence Affirmed Under Unusual Circumstances

In United States v. Moore , 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 24621 (4th Cir. 11/28/12) (unpublished), here , the defendant raised many arguments, but I address only two here. 1. Error in Computing Tax Due at Trial then Conceded at Sentencing The prosecutors used the modified bank-deposits method of proof...

Conscious Avoidance All Over Again

I am again back on the conscious avoidance issue in its use generally and specifically in tax crimes. The background is that tax crimes are the -- certainly an -- exception in Anglo-American jurisprudence where ignorance of the law is a defense. Tax crimes require knowledge that the known facts are a...