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Michigan Man Convicted of Filing False Tax Returns, Committing Other Crimes

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Michigan Man Convicted of Filing False Tax Returns, Committing Other Crimes

According to a Department of Justice press release, a Michigan man was recently convicted of filing false tax returns, among other crimes. This story should remind readers of the serious consequences that can stem from failing to file a true and accurate tax return. 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 tax prosecution.

Defendant Filed False Tax Returns for Seven Years

Donald Stanley LaVigne of Michigan was found guilty of filing false tax returns and making false statements to both a bankruptcy court and the Department of Justice. The evidence presented at trial showed that LaVigne did not report insurance commissions and other income on tax returns he filed with the IRS from 2013 through 2019. He also falsely claimed in letters he sent to the IRS that these commissions were not income to him.

When LaVigne filed for bankruptcy in 2018, he did not list the IRS as a creditor on the schedules attached to his bankruptcy petition, even though he owed taxes to the IRS for the years 2008 and 2009 and 2013 through 2015. In one document filed in the bankruptcy case, LaVigne understated his income for the years 2016 and 2017.

LaVigne made a false statement to the Department of Justice by sending a letter claiming that his bankruptcy attorney had reviewed his 2017 income tax return and advised him that it was accurate. However, LaVigne's bankruptcy attorney testified that he had never advised LaVigne that his 2017 income tax return was accurate. LaVigne faces a maximum penalty of three years in prison on each of seven counts of filing false tax returns, five years in prison on each of two counts of making false statements in bankruptcy, and five years in prison for making a false statement to the Department of Justice.

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Getting Right with the Government with the Help of a Seasoned Tax Attorney

As the defendant in the above story has likely already discovered, the consequences of filing false tax returns or otherwise failing to comply with federal tax laws generally outweigh any benefit obtained by failing to comply. If you have failed to file a tax return, have filed a false tax return, or are in any other way out of tax compliance, you should contact a seasoned tax defense attorney to guide you toward the path of tax compliance.


    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.
    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.

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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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