According to a Department of Justice press release, a Georgia man was recently sentenced to federal prison after being convicted of tax crimes. This story should serve as a stark reminder that those who intentionally violate federal, or state income tax laws could find themselves in serious legal trouble. If you have failed to file a tax return for one or more years, or have taken a position on a tax return that cannot be substantiated upon audit, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced tax defense attorney as soon as possible to help you get right with the government without facing criminal tax prosecution.
Court records reveal that Lohrasb “Jeff” Jafari, the former executive vice president of an Atlanta engineering firm, PRAD Group, was sentenced after being convicted of bribing two City of Atlanta officials, seeking contracts with DeKalb County, Georgia through bribery, and evading over $1.5 million in taxes. Jafari, who oversaw the finances of PRAD Group, gave cash and other valuables to Adam Smith, the former chief procurement officer (CPO) for the City of Atlanta, and Jo Ann Macrina, the city's former Commissioner of the Department of Watershed Management. In exchange, Smith and Macrina conspired with Jafari to award his company with city business worth millions of dollars.
Jafari bribed Smith more than $40,000 in cash between 2014 and 2017 to leverage his position for Jafari's contracting and procurement with the City of Atlanta. These bribes were often handed over in the bathroom of restaurants where they discussed city procurement projects, bids, and solicitations. In 2017, upon learning about the federal investigation into his bribe payments, Jafari confronted Smith and urged him to lie to the FBI.
Similarly, Jafari sought to influence Macrina with promises of a lucrative job at PRAD Group and gifts, including $10,000 in cash, jewelry, a room at a luxury hotel in Dubai, and landscaping work at her home. After her dismissal from the city, Macrina began working for Jafari and PRAD Group and received $30,000 in payments over four months. Jafari was also caught in an FBI sting operation in 2014, making cash payments to a confidential source in return for assistance with obtaining work in DeKalb County.
In addition to the bribery charges, Jafari was found guilty of evading over $1.5 million in taxes between 2014 and 2016. He failed to file personal tax returns or pay income taxes to the IRS during these years, withdrawing large amounts of cash from corporate bank accounts and using company funds for personal expenses, including luxury vehicles.
While, at first glance, this story may not seem like it has much to do with income tax evasion, it showcases a difficult reality for many taxpayers: if the government investigates you or your business for nearly any crime, a criminal tax investigation may occur simultaneously or follow. This highlights the fact that in addition to ensuring your business is following all federal and state laws, it is equally important to keep your tax house in order.
If you have failed to file a tax return for one or more years, or you have filed a tax return that contains falsehoods, such as inflated deductions or understated income, you should strongly consider consulting with an experienced tax defense attorney to come into tax compliance. Together, you will work to identify the important facts of your case and devise a roadmap to get you caught up.
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.
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 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, KovelCPAs 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!
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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