Tax experts in Massachusetts are watching a case that involves federal prosecutors charging a Swiss asset manager for tax evasion through offshore trust funds at numerous banks in Switzerland. The 52-year-old citizen of Switzerland could be sentenced to a maximum of five years in custody for the tax crimes. Authorities have charged him with engaging in fraud for at least 13 years and claim he worked with at least five financial institutions in his native country on the scheme.
Massachusetts taxpayers may be interested in the latest statistics on the Obama administration's stance on income tax crimes. As instances of tax refund and other fraud are rising, the Justice Department is doing its part to keep up.
A Massachusetts man who owns a drywall and plastering business was sentenced to three years of probation, six months of home detention, and three months in a halfway house at the end of a tax evasion case on Dec. 19. The man, owner of P.L Drywall Inc., was ordered to pay a $3,000 fine as well as nearly $200,000 in back taxes. The case stems from allegedly falsified tax returns that concealed over $900,000 in income from 2004 to 2006. According to a report, he reportedly lied about his income during an interview with the IRS.
The residents of Massachusetts may be interested to know about a case of an immigrant who portrayed himself as a priest, opened 30 accounts and interacted on Facebook to rake up more profits. This African born immigrant has decided to take an advantage of the freedom America offers. The individual filed 17 false claims to IRS and received refunds within the range of hundreds of thousands of dollars. He used different identities to obtain the money from the IRS, but there is no trial scheduled as of yet because he has been diagnosed as mentally incompetent. Court-appointed psychiatrist has stated that the individual is unable to make sound decisions or understand the nature of his crimes.
A billionaire's wife in Russia has accused her estranged husband of hiding significant assets to keep them from her through their divorce process. The two have battled over the accusations in at least seven countries concerning a portion of the man's $9.5 billion estate beginning in 2008 when the wife filed the divorce complaint. This situation has larger implications due to the use of offshore accounts and the government's mission to pursue individuals in Boston and other areas who are using these types of accounts to commit tax evasion. The billionaire's wife in this case is accusing her husband of using offshore holding companies and trusts to hide the couple's assets. She claims that he has stashed away approximately $500 million of art, a yacht valued at $80 million and jewelry worth approximately $36 million. She has pursued her case in a variety of courts, including one in the United States to go after approximately $6 billion that she believes is owed to her. Her case represents the significant value of assets that some people attempt to hide through the use of offshore accounts.
The IRS is aware of several tactics that unethical tax preparers use, and it is trying to warn the general public this tax season. Tax preparers may file false income tax returns by claiming more personal expenses or business expenses, claiming deductions or credits that they do not qualify for and using exemptions in an excessive manner. The IRS has also seen tax preparers who may change income figures on the tax returns to try to get more credits for the client. However, Boston taxpayers are the ones who are ultimately held responsible when fraudulent income tax returns are submitted. Typically, they are required to pay any additional taxes, interest and penalties that are incurred due to a false income tax return. They may also be held criminally liable in some cases.
A Somerville woman who owned a tax preparation business for about six years was sentenced on Jan. 29 to 61 months in prison. She has been convicted of identity theft and tax fraud following a string of tax crimes. According to the District of Massachusetts United States Attorney's office, the woman prepared false tax returns on her behalf and the behalf of the clients of her Somerville business. In some instances, she used clients' identities without their consent or knowledge. She pleaded guilty to 32 counts, including charges for aggravated identity theft, filing false returns with the Internal Revenue Service and forging United States Treasury check endorsements.
A former Amtrak employee recently fled to avoid going to prison due to tax evasion. As a jury delivered its verdict of 29 guilty felony counts, the 60-year-old defendant was nowhere to be found. The woman was found guilty of insurance fraud, tax evasion, perjury and grand theft from her employer's retirement board. She received in excess of $500,000 from disability payments due to accidents that the prosecution says she faked. She could receive up to 33 years in prison, but she escaped while she was free on a $50,000 bail that the judge ordered during her trial that lasted two months.
A tax preparer received an 18-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to submitting taxes filed incorrectly on behalf of her customers. The woman is 51 years old and pleaded guilty to the offense in November of 2012. According to authorities, the woman operated a Springfield, Massachusetts tax preparation business. Between February 2007 and April 2008, she knowingly prepared numerous fraudulent tax returns so that customers would receive larger tax refunds. A United States Attorney with the Department of Justice stated that the woman made misrepresentations to IRS representatives, provided false documents for customers to give to the Massachusetts Department of the Internal Revenue Service, and advised and told her customers to lie to the IRS. Authorities have discovered that the tax preparer is from the Dominican Republic and does not have a valid visa to be in the United States. The prosecution believes that the woman used identifying information from another person who is a legal United States resident to operate her business, open bank accounts, open credit cards and acquire a driver's license.
A financial adviser faces multiple charges for tax crimes and other crimes. He currently faces five charges for mail fraud, 13 charges for interstate transportation of goods gained in a fraudulent manner, 10 charges of money laundering and three charges for tax evasion. The man is accused of mismanaging funds for two family friends to benefit himself. The damages in question equal to more than $1 million. The man had previously filed bankruptcy and received federal bankruptcy protection. However, the new allegations may change the situation and leave him civilly liable to these people and to other lawsuits against him due to fraudulent information that he provided to the bankruptcy court.