John F. Casey, the noted former executive of Boston Grand Prix, was recently sentenced to four years in prison plus three years of probation and over $3.5 million in restitution and penalties. This decision came after Casey pled guilty to more than 30 counts of financial crimes, including fraud, identity theft, and money laundering.
Casey’s indictment included charges stemming from several fraudulent schemes he was operating, including willful failure to disclose income from his position at the Boston Grand Prix and abuse of state and federal programs set up to help individuals and businesses struggling with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you accepted relief benefits from a pandemic-related government program, you should know that a mistake in your filings could draw the ire of the IRS. To avoid this unfortunate possibility, call the Tax Law Office of David W. Klasing at (800) 681-1295 and get an assessment from one of our dual-licensed Tax Lawyers and CPAs.
Note: As long as a taxpayer that has willfully committed tax crimes (potentially including non-filed foreign information returns coupled with affirmative evasion of U.S. income tax on offshore income) self-reports the tax fraud (including a pattern of non-filed returns) through a domestic or offshore voluntary disclosurebefore 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.
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Earlier this month, John F. Casey of Ipswich, Massachusetts, was sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty to numerous counts of federal crimes across multiple different schemes. Casey, 58, also received three years of probation and was ordered to pay $2 million in restitution and an additional $1.5 million in other penalties.
Casey was known for his previous role as the Chief Financial Officer of Boston Grand Prix, which tried to lure the auto race to a Boston venue between 2016 and 2017. Casey was paid over $900,000 in his role for the organization, whose mission ultimately failed. Casey failed to include any of this income on his personal tax returns for the respective years.
That was not where Casey’s schemes ended, however. Court documents alleged that he also falsified financial statements and invoices to obtain more than $700,000 in funds from equipment financing companies for purchases connected to a Peabody ice rink that he owned. Casey ultimately sold the rink in 2016 but inappropriately sought and received an additional $145,000 in small business loans in connection to the rink after he had already sold it.
Casey also fraudulently obtained roughly $675,000 through COVID-19 relief measures during the 2021 taxable year. Specifically, Casey targeted the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act. This $2.2 trillion stimulus bill was enacted in March of 2020 during the previous administration.
Casey’s schemes targeting the CARES Act began almost immediately after the measures took effect. To facilitate the fraudulent relief requests, Casey used multiple false identities and provided fraudulent information about several corporate entities he had set up, including one called “Now Potty LLC,” which was set up in his son and girlfriend’s names. Casey received relief through both federal and state programs, including Economic Injury Disaster Loans, the Payroll Protection Program (PPP), and Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation loans.
Casey used the ill-gotten gains from these schemes on personal enrichment, purchasing luxuries including a 3-carat diamond ring, private school tuition, car payments, luxury hotel stays, and a six-month membership for an elite online dating website.
In September of 2021, Casey was indicted for a litany of charges stemming from his several illicit schemes. In October, Casey accepted a plea deal, wherein he pled guilty to 33 counts of various financial criminal offenses. The charges included fraud, identity theft, and money laundering. The October hearing was conducted remotely due to the undisclosed health condition with which Casey was said to be suffering.
Even after he was formally indicted, the documentation presented in court suggests that Casey continued to attempt to perpetrate these schemes. He even carried on with this behavior while under house arrest. This led U.S. District Court Judge Allison D. Burroughs to refer to him as a “consummate fraudster” during an open hearing. Nevertheless, Casey remained under house arrest until his recent sentencing hearing.
Ultimately, Casey pled guilty to 23 counts of wire fraud, three counts of aggravated identity theft, four counts of money laundering, and three counts of filing false tax returns. The prosecution sought a prison sentence of eight years. Still, Casey’s public defendant requested a sentence of two years, citing Casey’s fear that his contracting the COVID-19 virus would pose a substantial personal risk due to his preexisting conditions.
The Casey case is just one example of several where the federal government has shown an increased willingness to target inappropriate usage of government relief efforts enacted to support individuals and small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In May of 2021, United States Attorney General Merrick Garland created the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force less than two months after he was sworn in. The express purpose of the task force was to specifically target pandemic relief-related fraud.
The government is highly motivated to root out and prosecute these dishonest individuals and entities. Unfortunately, the natural result of this heightened scrutiny is that many honest taxpayers seeking support from the government may get tied up in the government’s investigatory measures.
A simple filing mistake may be all that it takes to provoke the ire of the task force or the IRS. To avoid making these mistakes in your honest effort to obtain the relief that you are entitled to, we urge you to reach out to the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing. Our dual licensed Tax Attorneys and CPAs could also help you through the amended filing process if you suspect that you have already committed an error and hope to avoid the consequences.
It is never too early or too late to get knowledgeable counsel from a seasoned dual-licensed tax attorney and CPA like those at the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing. Call today to find out more at (800) 681-1295 or better yet, book a reduced rate initial consultation HERE.
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 IRS or state tax authority audit, eggshell audit, reverse eggshell audit, or criminal tax investigation, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced tax defense attorney to determine your best route back into federal or state tax compliance without facing criminal prosecution.