A California man is facing federal criminal prosecution currently, having been charged with five counts of tax evasion. In making the tax crimes allegations, prosecutors allege that the man failed to report over $1 million in income over a five year period. It is alleged that this falsely reported income allowed the man to save over $300,000 in tax obligations.

The man is also alleged to have unlawfully taken Social Security payments that totaled around $80,000. In all, he now faces six criminal charges, which carry a maximum of 35 years in prison and fines of up to $1.5 million if convicted on all charges. The man recently appeared in court and has entered a not-guilty plea to the charges.

Being charged with federal tax crimes can potentially be a life altering situation. Nevertheless, there is a big difference between being accused of tax crimes and being convicted of them. Before that can happen, prosecutors have the burden of proving the allegations made against the man by relevant and compelling evidence. Unless the government can achieve a burden of proof described as beyond a reasonable doubt, no criminal conviction can occur.

The fact is that not all allegations of tax crimes are sustained. Sometimes mistakes are made, and a properly prepared defense can help alleviate the circumstances while protecting the legal rights of an accused person in California. The potentially severe consequences that a conviction could bring mandate that careful scrutiny of the formal charges and the evidence upon which they are based is imperative. While it remains to be seen what the result of these criminal proceedings will be, the man will undoubtedly benefit by seeking the right advice and assistance to challenge the government case and fight for the best possible result.

Source: Berkeley, CA Patch, “Feds Charge Berkeley Man with Stealing Social Security Payments and Tax Evasion,” Sept. 18, 2012