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Attorney faces tax evasion charges over alleged hidden income

An attorney who lives in Colrain, Massachusetts, was charged this month with four counts of tax evasion. The 57-year-old attorney is a accused of reporting income of close to $200,000 that he was allegedly paid illicitly during the course of his duties as an officer of a company in Turners Falls, Massachusetts.

According to the source of the information, the Boston division of the U.S. Attorney's office, the attorney allegedly made the situation worse when he realized that the purported scheme was in danger of coming to light. Information contained in court papers says that the president of the company for whom the man was an officer told him that the president was being investigated by federal officials.

At that point, according to the U.S. Attorney, the man concealed documents relating to the unreported income. Ultimately, however, it did not prevent him from being charged with tax evasion.

The man could face several years in prison if he is convicted of the charges. While it is not known if his case will get as far as the trial stage, but if it were, the government has already made clear what its strategy will be.

Tax problems can be insidious -- some people may choose to ignore them or hope that they simply go away, or that the authorities won't notice or find out. That clearly hasn't worked in this case, and is not often a successful strategy. People sometimes find that coming forward with information voluntarily might be the best way to minimize potential penalties; however, when the situation reaches a level where criminal charges are filed, that may not be the best strategy. In many cases, an experienced tax attorney can help clients to interact with what should be treated as very serious matters.

Source: The Boston Globe, "MA attorney faces federal tax evasion charges," Aug. 11, 2012

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