California taxpayers may be interested to know that a couple was recently indicted in federal court on counts of fraud and tax evasion. At the heart of their alleged tax crimes is nearly $1 million the IRS says the couple hid in an offshore account. The couple has entered a plea of not guilty to the charges listed in the indictment.

The indictment alleges that in 1995 and 1996, the couple received somewhere in the neighborhood of $3 million from stock sales, but only reported approximately $65,000 of it on their tax return for 1995. According to the IRS, the offshore account was opened in 1996 during the same time that they owned a gas station. The gas station was sold in 2007 for approximately $2 million.

It is alleged that approximately $1.25 million was placed in a law firm’s trust account. Later, $900,000 of that money was transferred to the offshore account. The IRS alleges that it was transferred under false pretenses and the a debit card for the account was obtained in order to access the funds.

These alleged tax crimes came about as the result of an investigation by the IRS. The couple is being prosecuted by the Tax Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and their trial is currently set to begin on Aug. 21. As with any other crime, the couple is innocent until proven guilty, and it is the responsibility of the federal government to prove the allegations against this couple. This is an important fact for every California taxpayer to know should they ever find themselves in a similar situation.

Source: Minnesota.cbslocal.com, “Sheridan Couple Faces Tax Evasion Charges,” June 14, 2013