Frequent readers of our blog (and even those who are not) likely know that the Internal Revenue Service is always on the lookout for those who have not followed federal tax law. State tax authorities are also on the prowl for residents that have not lived up to state tax obligations. This story involves one of the Internal Revenue Service’s own employees and highlights the seriousness of an IRS investigation.
According to a , Alena Aleykina, 45, was sentenced to serve 51 months in a federal prison related to charges of filing false tax returns, destroying records in a federal investigation, and theft of government money. Earlier this year, a jury in a federal court in the Eastern District of California found that Aleykina willfully broke tax and other federal laws to benefit herself by lying on her federal tax return, setting up trusts to disguise payments, and lying about deductions for expenses that were never incurred.
According to prosecutors, Aleykina, who herself was an agent with the IRS Criminal Investigations group, filed six false tax returns between 2009 and 2011. Three of the false tax returns were filed in her name and the other three were filed in the name of trusts that she created in 2010 and 2011 for the purpose of fraudulently avoiding tax liability.
Evidence produced at trial indicated that Aleykina lied about her Head of Household filing status and claimed non-existent dependents in order to reduce her tax bill. Aleykina even went so far as to receive a fraudulent legal separation decree in an attempt to take real estate loss deductions that she was not entitled to. The trusts that Aleykina created also claimed deductions for expenses related to dependent care that were fabricated.
In addition to her fraudulent tax activity, Aleykina stole money directly from the IRS. Prosecutors proved that during her tenure at the IRS, Aleykina sought tuition reimbursement for English classes that were provided through a trust registered to her sister. Prosecutors provided evidence that Aleykina received $4,000 in tuition reimbursement payments in connection with her fraudulent educational activity.
When investigators moved in and sought to retrieve her laptop as evidence, Aleykina lied to investigators about its whereabouts and deleted dozens of files after the agents left. Prosecutors alleged that the total loss to the IRS exceeded $50,000. In addition to serving her time in federal prison, Aleykina was sentenced to serve one year of supervised release. She was also ordered to pay restitution to the IRS in the amount of $4,000.
This case evidences the willingness of the IRS and the Department of Justice to stop at nothing to bring those suspected to committing tax crimes to justice. The IRS went after one of their own to show taxpayers that cheating come tax time will eventually be discovered and the penalties become increasingly harsh as more time elapses. If you are unsure whether you have skirted federal or state tax law or are currently under audit or investigation for a tax-related matter, it is in your best interest to contact an as soon as possible. A tax defense attorney will be present at all critical stages of the audit or investigation and ensure that your rights are being protected while attempting to resolve the matter without it escalating any further.
The tax and accounting professionals at the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing have extensive experience in assisting taxpayers of all backgrounds in a multitude of tax situations. Whether you are facing an IRS or state tax audit, you are in need of business tax advice, or you have another tax or business law-related inquiry, our zealous advocates are ready to listen to your story and help you design and implement a strategy aimed at protecting you, your family, and your finances. Do not let the fear of an IRS or state tax investigation keep you up at night. Contact the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing today for a reduced-rate consultation. We can be contacted or by phone at 800-681-1295.
Helpful Q and A libraries