According to a Department of Justice press release, a former Washington, D.C. attorney who was recently convicted on charges related to securities fraud, also pleaded guilty to tax charges related to the failure to file an income tax return and paying the associated taxes. This story is a good example of an all too common occurrence where crime that is not related to tax, nevertheless results in a criminal tax investigation and prosecution.
Court documents reveal that Brynee Baylor, a former D.C. attorney, pleaded guilty last week to intentionally failing to file her 2010 individual income tax returns and paying the taxes that would have been associated with such filing. As a part of her guilty plea, she admitted that she would have paid approximately $79,000, if she had filed and paid her taxes, as legally required.
According to the Department of Justice, a jury had already convicted Baylor of one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud, one count of securities fraud, and five counts of first-degree fraud under the laws of the District of Columbia.
As a part of the activity that resulted in her conviction for securities fraud, Baylor conspired with a Pennsylvania man and the company that he owned to recruit certain investors into a fake trading program. Like many of the fraudulent investment scams that have come to light over the years, investors were promised hefty profits with relatively no potential downside.
Unsurprisingly, the Securities and Exchange Commission sued Baylor and a handful of others for committing fraud in connection with the fake trading program that she had helped establish. In the process of investigating those crimes, the IRS was brought in and it was determined that Baylor had failed to timely file certain tax returns.
Baylor’s sentencing is scheduled for later this fall. She faces up to one year in prison for the count related to failing to file a tax return. Additionally, she can spend up to five years in a federal prison for the conspiracy count, up to two decades in prison for the securities fraud count, and up to a decade in prison for each of the first-degree fraud counts that she was convicted of. Finally, Baylor will likely also be ordered to serve a sentence of supervised release and face monetary penalties such as restitution.
Although many do not engage in securities fraud, this story is a reminder that the IRS does not operate in a vacuum. Many Americans deal with different parts of the federal and state governments on a regular basis, whether we desire to or not. Additionally, our taxes may be open to scrutiny when we least expect it. For instance, couples engaged in a divorce may have their finances looked at as a part of the mediation or adjudication process, which can result in an IRS or state tax investigation. If you have failed to file a tax return in a timely manner or believe that a portion of your filed tax return may be incorrect, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced tax defense attorney as soon as possible.
The tax and accounting professionals at the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing have extensive experience in representing taxpayers from varying backgrounds and financial situations. Whether you have not filed a tax return in over a decade or simply forgot to file your last year’s return, our team of zealous advocates is poised to assist in the development of a strategy that will keep your physical and financial well being top-of-mind. Do not let the possibility of criminal failure to file charges keep you up at night. Contact the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing today for a reduced-rate consultation.
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