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Mark Andreotti, 46, former settlement agent of Wyckoff, New Jersey, was convicted in October of tax evasion, bank fraud, conspiracy to commit bank fraud, and failure to file federal income tax returns. Andreotti, former owner and operator of Metropolitan Title and Abstract, will be facing up to 35 years in prison at sentencing, which is scheduled to take place in January 2018.
Andreotti’s two-week trial, which took place before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton in Newark, culminated on October 13 in his conviction of six counts of failure to file taxes, tax evasion, bank fraud, and conspiracy.
The charges arose from transactions carried out during January 2010, when Andreotti applied for a loan in the amount of $625,000 to refinance his home mortgage. Andreotti used his business, Metropolitan Title and Abstract, as the settlement agency. After the lender transferred $625,000 into Metropolitan Title and Abstract’s escrow account, Andreotti proceeded to use the money not for its stated purpose, but rather, to pay for personal expenses.
But Andreotti’s criminal activities did not stop there. The following year in April, Andreotti conspired with a real estate lawyer to obtain $480,000, stating the funds would be used to refinance the attorney’s home, echoing the scheme carried out in 2010. Once again, the lender transferred the requested funds into Metropolitan Title and Abstract’s escrow account. Andreotti conspired with the attorney, who agreed to take $370,000 while Andreotti received the remaining $110,000.
Following the 2010 transaction, but prior to the transaction in April 2011, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) attempted to collect unpaid income taxes from Andreotti. However, to quote the Department of Justice (DOJ) press release issued following Andreotti’s trial and conviction, “Despite numerous liens and levies and having five rental income properties in addition to his primary residence, Andreotti continued to evade his taxes. He also failed to file tax returns for the tax years 2010 and 2011.”
Andreotti is currently awaiting sentencing, which is scheduled to occur in early 2018. He will face the following fines and prison sentences for each offense:
Altogether, Andreotti may be looking at criminal fines in excess of $1 million – and worse, a maximum prison sentence spanning more than three decades. This case is a clear example of how even non-violent offenses can lead to extremely serious criminal penalties, particularly “white collar” (financial) crimes tried at the federal level, at which sentencing is typically harsher than the state level. Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick praised the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the IRS Criminal Investigation Division, and other federal agencies for their decisive roles in leading the investigation into Andreotti’s financial activities.
What begins as an audit can develop into a criminal investigation if the IRS uncovers intentional, or “willful,” attempts to evade taxes or defraud federal institutions. If you have recently received an audit notice from the IRS, or if you believe that you are being investigated by the IRS Criminal Investigation Division, it is imperative that you immediately contact the Tax Law Office of David W. Klasing for legal guidance.
Our tax attorneys bring over 20 years of experience to every tax matter we handle, whether we are representing a client before the IRS during an audit, fighting to defend a taxpayer’s innocence in court, or simply providing nuanced and strategic tax advice to help our clients minimize their tax liability while taking advantage of credits and deductions. Whether you are concerned about failure to file or pay taxes, or simply wish to utilize the U.S. Tax Code more effectively for yourself or your business, our zealous CPAs and IRS tax audit attorneys can provide efficient and trustworthy tax defense and tax planning services. For a reduced-rate consultation, contact the Tax Law Office of David W. Klasing online, or call our law offices at (800) 681-1295.
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