It probably comes as no surprise to those in Texas and elsewhere that the federal government prosecutes alleged tax crimes with a heavy hand. After all, the government relies upon tax revenue to fund its operations. That means that a conviction of tax crimes can potentially lead to hefty fines and a lengthy prison sentence.
Recently, a father and daughter team from Houston learned this lesson firsthand. The two had been operating a company that authorities alleged to be linked to fraudulent health care-related crimes. Among these crimes was tax evasion.
After a court trial, both were found guilty of health care fraud, and they must each repay $8.6 million. The 56-year-old father pleaded guilty to health care fraud and to tax evasion, and he was sentenced to 15 years in prison. The 26-year-old daughter was convicted of multiple counts of conspiracy, including conspiracy to commit health care fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. She was also convicted on seven counts of health care fraud. She will serve more than 11 years in prison. It is important to remember that federal prison sentences do not allow for the possibility of parole.
It is also important to remember that tax crimes are not always so cut and dry. The federal tax code is astounding in its complexity, which causes even many well-meaning people to make innocent mistakes that could cost them a small fortune. Those Texas residents who are being questioned by the IRS may benefit from the assistance of an experienced tax law attorney. The attorney may be able to aid with preparing the documentation in advance of a visit by the IRS.
Source: Houston Chronicle, "Father-daughter team bilked feds in Houston," Nov. 2, 2011