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Ohio Interior Designer’s Indictment Evidences Need for Experienced Tax Lawyer During an Investigation

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    When we usually think of interior designers, we can imagine a creative mind creating a work of art in the form of paint, furniture, and knick-knacks. But what if that creativity was used to defraud clients, the state, and the IRS? An Albany, Ohio woman was recently indicted on a laundry list of charges that include tax evasion, wire fraud, theft of government benefits, and the illegal structuring of cash transactions in order to avoid federal reporting laws.

    According to an IRS press release, Connie L. Christy, an interior designer by trade may be spending a large number of years using her talents to determine what prison cell accessories match her federal corrections jumpsuit. Over the course of six months in 2011, Christy is accused of stealing money not only from her clients, but from her state and the IRS. According to federal prosecutors, Christy frequently stole significant amounts of money from her clients by first baiting them with a low quote for services and once she had received payment from the customer, she would demand even more money by lying that either the subcontractors had left items off of their quote or suppliers had gone out of business before being able to deliver goods that had already been paid for. Although Christy is only alleged to have stolen from her clients over a period of six months, the theft was significant as the government asserts that she made deposits based on stolen client funds of over $724,465.

    Once Christy had her client’s money in hand, prosecutors assert that she grossly understated her income and thus paid significantly less in taxes than the she should have. In addition to the tax underpayment, Christy is alleged to have made deposits at her local bank branch of cash that were purposefully just under $10,000. The government accuses her of structuring the deposits in such a manner in order to get around the federal laws that require bank personnel to notify to the federal government of cash deposits that exceed $10,000. And as if stealing from her clients and the federal government wasn’t enough, Christy is also accused of falsifying aid applications through Franklin County Job and Family Services to illegally obtain nearly $10,000 in government benefits.

    The Importance of an Experienced Tax Attorney

    Many of the charges came after an IRS criminal investigation uncovered incriminating information about Christy’s business and personal financial activities. Christy’s case is a prime example of why it is critical to have an experienced tax attorney present during any interactions with the IRS. Agents from the IRS and the DOJ are trained to delve deep into the affairs of those that they are interviewing and once they sense that they have stumbled across something, they are relentless in their endeavors to procure enough evidence to bring criminal charges that carry lengthy prison sentences. On many occasions, taxpayers feel as if they can talk their way out of an audit or even a criminal investigation, but in reality they find themselves attracting even more unwanted attention by auditors and investigators.

    The tax and accounting professionals at the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing have years of experience representing taxpayers in audits, criminal investigations, and even criminal tax proceedings. When going through a time as stressful as being investigated for a potential tax crime, the last thing that you want to do is go at it alone. Let the experienced tax lawyers at the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing be the zealous advocates in your corner.  Contact us today for a reduced-rate consultation.

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