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The Panama Papers: U.S. Accountant Pleads Guilty to Charges Related to Client’s Improper Filings

In Criminal, Fraud, Panama Papers by Jason B. FreemanLeave a Comment

A U.S. accountant pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit tax evasion and to defraud the United States in the second U.S. criminal conviction to arise out of the Panama Papers data leak.  The charges against the accountant-defendant included counts for wire and tax fraud, money laundering, failing to file FBARs, aggravated identity theft and other charges.  The guilty …

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The Panama Papers: The First U.S. Conviction for Tax Fraud

In Criminal, FBAR, Panama Papers, Tax Fraud, White Collar by Jason B. FreemanLeave a Comment

A former U.S. resident became the first U.S. taxpayer to plead guilty to criminal tax charges arising out of the Panama Papers data leak.  The Indictment charged Harald Joachim von der Goltz and three others, including a U.S. tax professional, with conspiracy to commit tax evasion, wire fraud, money laundering, and willful failure to file an FBAR, as well as …

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Restitution in Criminal Tax Cases

In Criminal, Fraud, Restitution by Jason B. FreemanLeave a Comment

Victims of federal crimes have a right to “full and timely restitution, as provided in law.”[1] Lacking the inherent authority to order restitution, courts can only order restitution when provided by statute. Once a court has ordered restitution, other governmental organizations play a role in enforcing the order and collecting the restitution, such as the Department of Justice, the Financial …

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Restitution for Aiding Tax Evasion

In Criminal, Restitution by Jason B. FreemanLeave a Comment

The IRS has broad power under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) § 7201 to punish anyone who “attempts in any manner to evade or defeat any tax imposed by [Title 26].”[1] IRC § 6201(a)(4)(A) grants the IRS the power to assess and collect restitution as a tax for “failure to pay any tax imposed under [Title 26]”.[2] Thus arises the question of …

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Tax Preparers and Criminal Exposure: Be Careful Out There!

In Criminal by Jason B. FreemanLeave a Comment

The recent case of United States v. Berger demonstrates the criminal exposure that accountants face when advising clients about taxes and preparing tax returns.  In that case, Berger, a CPA, was found guilty of aiding and abetting the preparation of false tax returns.  A copy of the Indictment is available here.  The charges, which were brought under IRC section 7206(2), are …

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7206(2): The Crime of Aiding or Assisting the Preparation of a False or Fraudulent Document

In Criminal, Evasion, Fraud by Jason B. FreemanLeave a Comment

  Section 7206 establishes, among other crimes, the federal tax crime of making false or fraudulent statements to the IRS, and aiding or assisting a taxpayer in making such statements.  This post focuses on the crime of aiding or assisting the preparation of a false or fraudulent document that is presented to the IRS.   The relevant statute provides as …

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Section 7206(1): False Tax Returns and Statements

In Criminal, Evasion, Fraud by Jason B. FreemanLeave a Comment

Section 7206 establishes, among other crimes, the federal tax crime of making false or fraudulent statements to the IRS, and aiding or assisting a taxpayer in making such statements.  Common violations of section 7206 include falsely inflating deductions or underreporting income. However, unlike a number of other federal tax crimes, section 7206 does not technically require that the government prove …

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Tax Crimes: Section 7203 and Willful Failures to File a Tax Return

In Criminal, Evasion, Fraud by Jason B. FreemanLeave a Comment

Section 7203 of the Internal Revenue Code creates the federal crime of willfully failing to (1) file a tax return, (2) supply information, or (3) pay a tax.  The Department of Justice’s position is that this misdemeanor offense of willfully failing to file a tax return, pay tax, keep records or supply information should only be charged when a defendant …