Accountancy is one of the most respected and revered professions that one can enter into. Most accountants go about their work in a methodical and efficient manner, helping their clients save money and ensure that they are in proper financial health. But as there are in every profession, there are accountants that find themselves in hot water because of misdeeds that they have committed. Last Wednesday, an accountant from Pennsylvania pleaded guilty to wire fraud and tax evasion stemming from an investment scheme that cost his clients upwards of $6 million.
According to a press release by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Michael Goldner, 44, of Glen Mills pleaded guilty last week to charges that included wire fraud and tax evasion. According to authorities, Goldner operated Arcadia Capital Group, Inc., an investment venture that was founded in 2003. Arcadia conducted business in a typical Ponzi scheme fashion that saw Arcadia executives seeking out and obtaining investments in order to pay off existing investors’ notes. The monies that were obtained by Arcadia were used for that purpose and any excess was split among the investment company’s executives. From before 2003 and up until 2009, Goldner was able to scam investors into handing over their hard-earned money to Arcadia. The fraudulent activity ended when Arcadia was no longer able to sustain its operations and closed its doors in 2009.
According to investigators, Goldner didn’t limit his fraudulent activity to Ponzi schemes. He also owned and operated Settlement Funds LLC, an entity that was created to assist taxpayer settle their debts with the IRS. Once Settlement Funds received the payments for settlement to be paid to the IRS on behalf of the taxpayer, Goldner would pocket the money and use it to pay his own expenses. The money to be transferred to the IRS never made it there. Typically, the federal government ensures that the hammer falls down the hardest on those who betray clients who entrust them to remit money to the IRS for tax purposes.
If Goldner is given the maximum sentence, he will receive 25 years in prison, be will be forced to pay back the money that he stole from investors (upwards of $6 million) and could face criminal fines and supervised release at the end of his prison term.
This story presents two very important realities regarding tax investigations. First, those who are in fiduciary relationships with taxpayers or investors (like Goldner was) can be investigated by multiple agencies for different offenses. In his case, the FBI and the IRS Criminal Investigation’s Division investigated Goldner. This cross-agency effort can land a tax preparer or other tax or accounting professional in hot water if even only one governmental agency senses that something is not right. Second, taxpayers and investors should take special care to ensure that they do to enter into any type of investment or tax service without knowing exactly what they are getting into
Both of these potential problem situations can be solved by one role: an experienced tax attorney. An attorney that is also a Certified Public Accountant is able to provide a level of insight that may be unattainable through other means. for potential clients that are looking for assistance with regard to settling debts with the IRS, an experienced tax attorney that has also spent time as an auditor can be a vital lifeline. And for those professionals that provide either investment or tax services to clients and are being investigated by the IRS, an attorney with experience helping tax preparers and other professionals through investigations and proceedings will ensure that you have a fighting chance in keeping your financial and physical freedom intact.
The tax and accounting professionals at the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing are at the ready to help you or your business clear any tax hurdle that you find in your path. When the government investigates and pursues action against someone, they do so relentlessly, using their highly-trained investigators and attorneys. Ensure that you too have a zealous advocate in your corner when the feds pull you into the ring. Contact the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing today for a reduced-rate consultation.