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Local businessmen guilty of defrauding IRS

IRS tax crimes in Massachusetts can substantially alter a person's life, and facing charges of lying to the agency can be intimidating. Possible penalties for conviction include incarceration in a federal penitentiary, criminal fines, and supervision after release from prison. To top it all off, any money that was due to the IRS in the first place is still due, with interest

For years, politicians have told us there is a need to simplify the Tax Code. But to many, it only seems to get more complicated. When operating a business, the laws and regulations appear more confusing and the requirements more, well, taxing.

Two former owners of a Massachusetts temporary employment agency found that out last month, when they were convicted of conspiring to defraud the IRS, mail fraud and filing false tax returns. At sentencing each could receive up to 20 years in federal prison and fines totaling $750,000.

The jury found that the men lied to the IRS and insurers about the size of the company's payroll from 2000 through 2004. The government claimed the defendants paid employees in cash, totaling approximately $25 million without reporting it to the IRS. An estimated $7 million in taxes was not reported or paid. The men also failed to pay significant sums owed in workers' compensation insurance.

We all make mistakes, though some are bigger than others. With the penalties looming at sentencing, the lawyers for the men will need to call to the court's attention whatever mitigating circumstances will help avoid a longer prison sentence. Tax laws are complicated. Whether an individual faces prosecution or simply seeks to avoid problems by understanding what is required of them, a Massachusetts attorney knowledgeable in tax laws and crimes may be of assistance.

Source: Patriot Ledger, "Former owners of Stoughton job agency convicted of conspiracy, mail fraud," Vicki-Ann Downing, July 21, 2011

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