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April 2, 2015


Defending against tax fraud charges: don’t overplay your hand

If federal authorities accuse you of tax fraud, the steps you and your attorney take in response are crucial.

Given the complexity of the tax code, it is important to get counsel from an experienced tax attorney who knows how to defend and resolve criminal tax charges.

In this post, we will look at recent case that serves as a reminder of what can go wrong when the advice you receive goes awry.

The case concerns charges against a 67-year-old woman and several family members for an alleged conspiracy to commit a number of offenses relating to a temporary employment agency. These offenses included tax fraud, mail fraud and the structuring of banking transactions to get around laws against money laundering.

As Robert Wood reported recently in Forbes, the woman’s 47-year-old daughter pleaded guilty to filing false employment tax returns and other offenses. Two other family members also pleaded guilty to various offenses.

The 67-year-old woman pleaded guilty as well. But plea negotiations did not turn out well when the woman’s attorney tried to get leniency for her by asserting that she had Alzheimer’s disease.

The problem was that the woman’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s was not clear cut. The woman’s symptoms suggested that Alzheimer’s was possible, but it wasn’t confirmed. And so prosecutors in the case contended that the woman and her attorney were trying to mislead the judge about her condition.

In the end, she was sentenced to a 6 ½-year prison term.

To use a card-playing analogy, when it comes to sentence negotiations, clearly you don’t want to overplay your hand. At our firm, we have the sophistication and tax knowledge to help you play your cards most effectively. This is true for defending against tax fraud charges or for any other issue.

Tax Evasion