Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino, who formerly appeared on the reality TV series "The Jersey Shore," pleaded guilty to a charge of tax evasion for years in which he concealed a portion of his income to avoid paying the full amount of taxes owed. Sorrentino's brother, Marc, also pleaded guilty to a charge of aiding in the preparation of a fraudulent tax return for underreporting income and providing his tax return preparers with false information.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently released the fiscal year 2017 annual report for its Criminal Investigation Division (CI). During FY 2017, CI initiated over 3,000 cases concerning Title 18 and Title 31 crimes, with 72.5% of its investigation time spent on tax matters such as refund fraud, identity theft, abusive tax schemes, and cyber crimes. Its investigations identified $2.5 billion in funds related to tax fraud, and the division had a 91.5% overall conviction rate.
The Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has issued an advisory alert for financial institutions concerning the potential flow of money from Venezuela to the United States due to political instability surrounding widespread corruption in the South American nation.
On April 25, 2017, eight suspects were arrested in Miami, Florida, by agents of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) and the Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General (SSAOIG) for conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The indictments against these individuals include charges for involvement in schemes to impersonate IRS agents in order to obtain money from victims by falsely representing that the victims owed back taxes or other fees. The suspects allegedly defrauded over 7,000 victims out of almost $8.8 million.
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) is recommending that the IRS expand the criteria used to refer potential criminal cases for investigation for certain employers that fail to remit payroll taxes to the IRS. TIGTA found that tax noncompliance in employment tax matters is growing, and as of December 2015 the IRS is owed nearly $46 billion in unpaid employment taxes, interest, and penalties.
The Department of Justice unsealed an indictment today charging 61 individuals and entities for their alleged involvement in a call center scam that has victimized tens of thousands of U.S. citizens and resulted in losses totaling in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Twenty individuals were arrested in the U.S. and other individuals and entities in India were charged with conspiracy to commit identity theft, false personation of an officer of the United States, wire fraud, and money laundering.
Darryl Genis, a 60-year-old DUI attorney practicing in Santa Barbara County, California, pled guilty recently to three counts of willfully failing to file tax returns between 2009 and 2011, and admitted to willfully failing to pay taxes for the same years, totaling nearly $680,000. He also admitted to underpaying taxes for the years 2005 through 2012. Genis agreed to pay civil penalties for all years at issue, and he faces up to three years of imprisonment.
A self-employed chiropractor based in Hayward, California, was found liable for penalties for failure to file tax returns for eight years with the intent to conceal, mislead, or otherwise prevent the collection of tax. The original IRS investigation of Dr. Ramon Reynoso began in 2003. In April 2008, he pleaded guilty to criminal income tax evasion for only one tax year. Subsequently, the Commissioner issued notices of deficiency for tax years 1997 through 2004. Dr. Reynoso filed a Tax Court petition to dispute the penalties assessed for fraudulent failure to file, failure to timely pay, and failure to pay estimated taxes.
Former intelligence agent Werner Mauss is the latest celebrity under scrutiny for allegedly evading taxes from profits on offshore accounts. Mr. Mauss says the accounts were opened by intelligence agencies to fund covert operations worldwide, including averting a mafia poisoning attempt against a Pope, and operations involving hostage releases. Mr. Mauss is a mystery. He has several aliases and is a self-proclaimed master spy. He is believed to have worked extensively under cover for Germany's BND intelligence service as well as for other governments. Mr. Mauss' lawyers identify the client confidences Mr. Mauss must maintain and other problems with standard litigation given the secret nature of Mr. Mauss' work and identity. For more information, click here.
What happens when the chief of staff to a Congressman (and former Democratic staff director for the Homeland Security Committee) fails to file or pay income tax for six or more years in a row? It appears, not much.