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According to a Department of Justice press release, a Michigan business owner pleaded guilty last week to charges of conspiracy to steal from an organization receiving federal funds and tax evasion as part of a scheme to target those who had been involved in automobile accidents. Taxpayers who are engaged in behavior that may give rise to civil or criminal penalties should consult with an experienced tax attorney to determine the best way to come into compliance. As the defendant in this story has learned, if you wait for the IRS and Department of justice to come after you, they will be much less amicable to a taxpayer-favorable resolution.
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Court documents reveal that Anthony Sereno, of Metamora, Michigan was the owner and operator of USA Direct LLC. USA Direct provided advertising services to healthcare providers, in addition to soliciting individuals for legal services related to personal injuries.
Sereno admitted that in 2013, he used USA Direct funds to purchase information that was stolen from the Flint Police Department in the form of accident reports. The stolen reports contained detailed information about traffic accidents and contact information of those involved, which were used by USA Direct to further its business. In 2014, Sereno worked with others to steal information from the Detroit Police Department in the same manner.
Apart from stealing from Michigan police departments to further his business, Sereno diverted business funds from USA Direct into his personal bank account and used those funds for his own expenses. Federal tax laws required Sereno to report the illegally obtained funds, in addition to legal salary and distributions. Sereno did not report more than $280,000 that he received from USA Direct on his annual individual income tax returns.
If you have received notice from the IRS or state taxing authority that your tax return has been selected for audit, or if you have failed to file a tax return for one or more years, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced tax attorney to determine the best way to come into compliance. Your tax attorney will help you determine the available routes on your journey and help devise and implement a strategy to position you for the best potential outcome.
One of the most detrimental courses of action a taxpayer can take is going up against the IRS or state alone in a tax dispute. Revenue agents and tax investigators are trained and have extensive experience sniffing out inconsistencies on tax returns and detecting badges of fraud. Without competent legal representation, you run the risk of making a statement or producing a document that can be used against you in court later. An experienced tax defense attorney will be with you every step of the way and ensure that you do not make statements or produce documents that you are not required to make or produce. Additionally, a competent tax attorney will detect offramps to de-escalate the situation and help you come into compliance.
The tax and accounting professionals at the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing have extensive experience representing a diverse group of taxpayers. From individuals to middle-market businesses and beyond, our team of zealous advocates will assist in the development of a strategy to help you reach your specific goals and objectives. Whether you are under a tax audit or criminal tax examination/investigation or are in need of tax planning advice, contact the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing today, online or by phone at (800) 681-1295, for a reduced-rate consultation.
Note: As long as a taxpayer that has willfully committed tax crimes 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 prosecution, the taxpayer can be successfully brought back into tax compliance and receive a nearly guaranteed pass on criminal tax prosecution and simultaneously receive a break on the civil penalties that would otherwise apply. It is imperative that you hire an experienced and reputable tax defense attorney to take you through the voluntary disclosure process. As uniquely qualified and extensively experienced Criminal Tax Defense Tax Attorneys, Kovel CPAs and EAs, our firm provides a one-stop-shop to efficiently achieve the optimal and predictable results. See our Testimonials to see what our clients have to say about us!
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In addition to our staffed main offices in Irvine, the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing has unstaffed (conference room only) satellite offices in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, Panorama City, Oxnard, San Diego, Bakersfield, San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland, Carlsbad and Sacramento.
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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.