In April 2018, a federal jury convicted 51-year-old defendant William Todd Coontz, a former author, business owner, and minister from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, of two tax offenses: (1) aiding and assisting with false returns (which violates 26 U.S. Code § 7206), and (2) failing to pay taxes (which violates 26 U.S. Code § 7203). Though sometimes treated as a civil matter, failing to pay one’s taxes can also be treated like a criminal offense, depending on factors like the taxpayer’s intent, the statute of limitations, and the burden of proof the government feels it is able to meet, as discussed in our article on the difference between criminal tax evasion and civil tax fraud. If you owe unpaid state or federal taxes, the safest course of action is to discuss your situation and the next steps with a tax compliance attorney and CPA immediately. The sooner and more proactively you address the problem with an experienced tax lawyer, the less interest you will owe the IRS – and the lower the risk of criminal prosecution will be.
Originally from Florida, defendant William Todd Coontz was tried – and convicted – in federal court in North Carolina, where he practiced as a minister. According to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Coontz engaged in a number of violations during the tax period from approximately 2000 through 2014. The DOJ indicated that these violations included, but were not limited to, the following:
In January 2019, Coontz was sentenced to 60 months in federal prison for his crimes. Additionally, he was ordered by the court to pay the IRS restitution totaling more than $755,000. Furthermore, Coontz will be subject to one year of supervised release once he completes his prison sentence.
At the Tax Law Office of David W. Klasing, we are tax evasion defense attorneys with extensive experience representing taxpayers and business entities in civil and criminal matters, including state and federal audits, IRS criminal investigations, and tax appeals. Whether we are appearing in Tax Court, before the Internal Revenue Service, or before a state tax agency such as the California Franchise Tax Board, we provide sophisticated, strategic, around-the-clock guidance in complex foreign and domestic tax issues. To arrange a reduced-rate tax consultation with our IRS tax attorneys and CPAs, contact the Tax Law Office of David W. Klasing online, or call us today at (800) 681-1295.
Also, we’ve expanded our offices! In addition to our offices in Irvine and Los Angeles, the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing now have offices San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, Panorama City, Oxnard, San Diego, Bakersfield, San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland and Sacramento.
Note: If you have concerns about the privacy of our initial or subsequent communication and are unable to easily travel to our Irvine / Orange County Main Office, consider scheduling a GoToMeeting to safely and securely establish an initial or maintain an existing attorney client relationship. With end-to-end encryption, strong passwords and top-rated reliability, no one is messing with your meeting. To schedule a reduced rate initial consultation via GoToMeeting follow this link. Call our office and request a GoToMeeting if you are an existing client. We are generally happy to travel to any of our appointment only satellite offices for a subsequent meeting in appropriate circumstances once a relationship is established via a signed engagement letter and the payment of an initial retainer or where enough retainer is available where a current client to cover the reasonable travel time and time required for the meeting.
Will it cost me more to hire the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing, who’s main office and the vast majority of the firm’s staff is located in Irvine California, but an appointment only Satellite office is close to my location, as opposed to a local company? Absolutely not! See our policies that address this issue here:
Helpful Q and A libraries