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CFO pleads guilty to $6M employment tax crime

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    Generally, any officer of a business, including a CEO or CFO, may be held liable for tax crimes that occur under that person’s watch, according to California tax attorney David Klasing.

    “Most of the time, the behavior will have to have been willful on the part of the CEO, like telling [a] subordinate to commit tax fraud or committing it themselves, for it to constitute a chargeable tax crime,” Klasing wrote in a July 2020 blog post. “However, there are times when the prosecution will be able to prove its case under a theory of ‘willful blindness.’”

    The basic concept of willful blindness is that an individual intentionally avoided the facts rather than making a genuine mistake, he said.

    » MORE: Russ’ case was prosecuted by trial attorney Curtis Weidler of the Tax Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles Kirkham for the Southern District of Mississippi. Read more.

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