According to a Department of Justice press release, a Connecticut woman recently pleaded guilty to various tax and fraud charges relating to a scheme to embezzle money from medical rehabilitation facilities. This guilty plea and related investigation should serve as a warning to taxpayers who willfully violate federal or state tax laws. If you have failed to file a tax return for one or more years or have taken a position on a tax return that could not be supported upon an examination by tax authorities, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced tax defense attorney to determine the best route to coming into tax compliance.
Note: As long as a taxpayer that has willfully committed tax crimes (potentially including non-filed returns coupled with affirmative evasion of payment) self-reports the tax fraud (including a pattern of non-filed returns) through a domestic or offshore voluntary disclosure before the IRS has started an audit or criminal tax investigation / prosecution, the taxpayer can ordinarily be successfully brought back into tax compliance and receive a nearly guaranteed pass on criminal tax prosecution and simultaneously often receive a break on the civil penalties that would otherwise apply.
It is imperative that you hire an experienced and reputable criminal tax defense attorney to take you through the voluntary disclosure process. Only an Attorney has the Attorney Client Privilege and Work Product Privileges that will prevent the very professional that you hire from being potentially being forced to become a witness against you, especially where they prepared the returns that need to be amended, in a subsequent criminal tax audit, investigation or prosecution.
Moreover, only an Attorney can enter you into a voluntary disclosure without engaging in the unauthorized practice of law (a crime in itself). Only an Attorney trained in Criminal Tax Defense fully understands the risks and rewards involved in voluntary disclosures and how to protect you if you do not qualify for a voluntary disclosure.
As uniquely qualified and extensively experienced Criminal Tax Defense Tax Attorneys, Kovel CPAs and EAs, our firm provides a one stop shop to efficiently achieve the optimal and predictable results that simultaneously protect your liberty and your net worth. See our Testimonials to see what our clients have to say about us!
Court documents reveal that Melissa Meole was employed by Bridgeport Health Care Center Inc. between 2015 and 2018. Bridgeport operated residential medical rehabilitation facilities and Meole’s position granted her access to patient’s financial accounts. Investigators discovered that during her time at Bridgeport, Meole embezzled over $400,000 by writing herself checks out of patients’ accounts intended to pay for their stay at Bridgeport facilities. Meole also wrote false payroll checks to other employees but deposited the checks into her own bank account and used the funds for her own benefit.
Meole failed to include any of the embezzled funds in her individual federal income tax return, as required by law. Her tax noncompliance between 2015 and 2018 caused a tax loss to the government of approximately $103,000.
Sentencing has not yet been scheduled, but the single count of wire fraud (related to the embezzlement) carries up a federal prison sentence of up to 20 years. Additionally, the charge relating to filing a false tax return can carry up to three years in federal prison. As a part of her plea agreement, Meole agreed to pay $456,594.56 to victims of her schemes, and $103,217, plus interest and penalties, to the IRS.
The story above is not simply about tax. The defendant admitted to embezzling money from entities and individuals who entrusted her. It is extremely common for tax charges to be added on to other crimes involving unjust enrichment. Likewise, it is not uncommon for non-tax crimes to be discovered through an IRS tax examination. The key takeaway for taxpayers is that the government is interconnected. If a potential tax crime is uncovered during an unrelated investigation, criminal investigators from the IRS will be brought in to assist.
If you have engaged in criminal behavior such as embezzlement, wire fraud, or a Ponzi scheme, an accompanying tax investigation could and likely will result. Likewise, if you have taken a position on your tax return that is not supportable upon examination by the IRS, other non-tax crimes may be investigated and will be prosecuted, if appropriate.
The most effective way to avoid multiple federal investigations for potential criminal wrongdoing is to clear up any potential tax noncompliance before the matter is examined by tax authorities. Working with an experienced tax defense attorney, you will determine the pertinent facts of your case and the best plan of action to bring you into compliance. One of the most valuable benefits of being represented by an experienced tax lawyer is never having to interact with the IRS alone.
Regardless of your business or estate needs, the professionals at the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing are here for you. We are open for business and our team will help ensure that your business is too. Contact the Law Offices of David W. Klasing today to discuss your business with one of our professionals.
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