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Former Attorney Sentenced After Pleading Guilty to Tax Evasion Charges in Gulf Breeze, Florida

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    Recently, William Carter Elliot, 61, a former attorney in Gulf Breeze, Florida, was sentenced to one year in federal prison for tax evasion, to be followed by three years of supervised release.

    The sentencing occurred in December, just several months after Elliot pleaded guilty to three counts of tax evasion. An investigation carried out by the IRS Criminal Investigation Division discovered that Elliot had not paid income tax for the years of 2015, 2016, and 2017. This sentence comes after Elliot was found guilty of organized fraud in 2019. Though sentenced to a year in prison, Elliot did not receive the maximum penalty for the charges against him, presumably because he chose to plead guilty as part of a plea bargain.

    For assistance with your case, reach out to our dual licensed Criminal Tax Defense Attorneys & CPAs. To learn more about how the Dual Licensed Tax Attorneys and CPAs at the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing can help you, call us today at (800) 681-1295 or click here to schedule a reduced rate initial consultation.

    Tax Evasion Charges

    After an investigation by the IRS Criminal Investigation Division found that attorney William Carter Elliot of Gulf Breeze, Florida, evaded paying his taxes for several years, he was subsequently charged and pleaded guilty to tax evasion in May of 2022.

    According to United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida Jason R. Coody, Elliot misrepresented his income by filing fraudulent documents with the IRS. According to IRS-CI Acting Special Agent in Charge Ron Loecker, Elliot created fake loan documents to mislead the IRS and avoid paying the appropriate amount in taxes.

    The charges were brought after an investigation completed by the IRS revealed that Elliot had not paid income taxes for three years, in 2015, 2016, and 2017.

    After Elliot was given his sentence, U.S. Attorney Coody warned others that they may face a similar fate if they engage in any practices similar to Elliot’s in an effort to avoid their true tax liability to the IRS.

    The Basis for Tax Evasion Charges

    The IRS compiles information on tax filers, enabling it to identify persons that may be intentionally avoiding paying their tax liability. Once a person is suspected of tax evasion, the IRS may launch an investigation to uncover any willful intent to underpay.

    According to 42 U.S.C. § 7201, tax evasion as a criminal charge is the illegal underpayment or nonpayment of owed taxes. The IRS tends to take these transgressions seriously and may launch a thorough investigation into any taxpayer who makes errors on their tax returns or engages in other actions to intentionally avoid paying taxes to the IRS, as in the case of Elliot. Tax evasion convictions require willful intent, meaning a prosecutor must prove that a defendant tried to avoid paying taxes on purpose.

    The IRS Criminal Investigation Division often initiates investigations into tax evasion, as in the case of Elliot, and then may work in tandem with a prosecutor to build a case against a defendant.

    Previous Convictions

    Prior to William Carter Elliot’s tax evasion charges, he faced other criminal charges related to financial matters. In 2019, he was found guilty of organized fraud.

    Using a fraudulent U.S. Treasury check, which is often how tax filers receive their income tax refund after filing their taxes, Elliot stole from a local bank. According to court documents and information from a complaint brought by the Florida Bar, Elliot cashed a fake U.S. Treasury check at the Beach Community Bank. Before it was flagged as fraudulent, Elliot wired the funds, resulting in a dramatic financial loss for the bank. Because of Elliot’s actions, the Beach Community Bank suffered a loss of $98,813.33. Elliot was found guilty of charges for organized fraud related to this matter in 2019.

    Sentence and Restitution

    Since pleading guilty to three counts of tax evasion mid-2022, William Carter Elliot has been sentenced. Elliot is to serve one year in prison followed by three years of supervised release for his recent crimes.

    Elliot, who did not pay income taxes in 2015, 2016, or 2017, was sentenced in December of 2022 after pleading guilty to several counts of tax evasion. After serving his one-year prison sentence, Elliot will be subject to three additional years of supervised release, the first three months of which to be served in Home Confinement.

    In addition to prison time, Elliot was ordered to pay $211,073 in restitution. Elliot must also pay $116,896.25 in prosecution fees.

    Penalties for Tax Crimes

    Though serving a one-year prison sentence, Elliot did not receive the maximum sentence for tax evasion. Penalties for tax evasion can be severe, and so can the penalties for other tax crimes.

    Filing a fraudulent tax return is a felony and carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison and up to $100,000 in fines. Tax evasion, which is the willful concealment or mispresenting of one’s finances to avoid paying taxes, is the charge Elliot pleaded guilty to. The maximum penalty for each count of tax evasion is five years in prison and up to $100,000 in fines.

    There are alternate charges and penalties for failing to file a tax return. Though a misdemeanor not a felony, failure to file a return can result in one year in prison and a $25,000 fine for each year a person did not file their taxes. Willfully failing to pay estimated taxes might also result in one year in prison and $25,000 in fines.

    Call Our Dual Licensed Tax Attorneys and CPAs Today

    For help with your case, reach out to our attorneys. To learn more about how the Dual Licensed Tax Attorneys and CPAs at the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing can assist you, call us today at (800) 681-1295.

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