California Man Faces Prison, Penalties for Failure to Report Foreign Bank Account

Eli Waknine of Huntington Beach, California, pleaded guilty this week to filing a false tax return that failed to report over $2 million held at an Israeli bank between 1994 and 2011. He further attempted to conceal his offshore assets by instructing the bank to forego mailing documents to the U.S. and using "back-to-back" loans to access his offshore funds.

The Israeli bank, Bank Leumi Le-Israel B.M., entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the U.S. in 2014, under the terms of which it paid $270 million in penalties and was required to cooperate with investigations of U.S. taxpayers attempting to hide assets in foreign accounts.

Waknine could serve up to three years in prison, as well as being subject to supervised release, restitution, and monetary penalties. Sentencing is set for January 2019.

For additional information on this case, click here.

The Internal Revenue Service's (IRS's) 2014 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) officially ended on September 28, 2018. This program was offered to help taxpayers get into compliance with their foreign account reporting requirements. Taxpayers who missed the OVDP opportunity still have options available and should get into compliance as soon as possible.

We have helped hundreds of taxpayers around the United States and abroad with their tax compliance matters, and we are here to help you, too. Please contact our office to discuss your tax compliance matter today.

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