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Fraud charges dropped after man pleads guilty to tax evasion

A Massachusetts man has had two fraud charges dropped after agreeing to plead guilty to tax evasion. The 56-year-old man will now face between two and two and a half years in prison, rather than five. In a recent plea hearing, the man admitted to three counts of tax evasion during the years 2007, 2008 and 2009. His sentence is expected to be decided at a federal courthouse in Boston on Jan 9.

The original charges of wire and mail fraud stemmed from transfers from another person's bank account that totaled $383,000. According to the man's attorney, the prosecution presented very little evidence that the money was actually stolen. His attorney also argued that some of the transfers might have been transferred for the sender's benefit or authorized by the sender for the recipient's benefit.

Although the nature of the transfers is still up for debate, the federal government considers the money from them to be unreported income. In order to repay the back taxes he owes for the three-year period, the accused man has been ordered to pay $116,000 in restitution. As part of his plea deal, he may also have to submit to two years of supervised release.

The line between tax avoidance and tax evasion is often a fine one. After receiving a large sum of money, a person may neglect to report it in the belief that it was a gift or a loan. An attorney may be able to help someone charged with tax evasion to prove that forgetfulness, ignorance or a mistake led to the unreported income.

Source: Needham Times, "Admitted tax evader Kevin Foley faces 2 to 2.5 years ", Wei-Huan Chen, November 21, 2013

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