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Pennsylvania Couple Pleads Guilty to Tax Crimes, Faces Prison Time

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    According to a Department of Justice press release, a Pennsylvania couple has pleaded guilty to criminal tax crimes related to their attempts to fraudulently lower their federal tax liability. This story should serve as a reminder that there are serious repercussions for intentionally violating federal tax law. Suppose you have failed to file a tax return for one or more years or have taken a position on a tax return that you could not support upon audit or criminal tax investigation. In that case, you should consider contacting a seasoned tax defense attorney to help you get right with the government.

    Defendants Used Multiple Strategies to Underpay Taxes

    You may recall from a story that we previously brought you on this same matter that from October 2013 to December 2021, Theodore Shearba and Jennifer Cemini of Perkiomenville, Pennsylvania, owned and operated a landscaping and excavation business. They were accused of attempting to defraud the IRS by not reporting income from their business, using business funds for personal expenses, not paying employment taxes, changing business names, and concealing income to avoid IRS efforts to collect unpaid taxes. Shearba was also alleged to have failed to file individual income tax returns from 2019 through 2021.

    Shearba and Cemini pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States and face a maximum penalty of five years. Additionally, the defendants will likely be sentenced to serve a period of supervised release upon the conclusion of their physical incarceration. Lastly, the defendants will likely be ordered to pay restitution to the IRS, representing the amount of tax loss they caused. 

    The Serious Repercussion of a Federal Tax Conviction

    As you may have gathered, there are severe consequences that come along with a criminal tax conviction. While engaging in tax planning for yourself or your business is not illegal, taking matters into your own hands and choosing which federal tax provisions you will follow and those you will not is illegal. 

    Suppose you have filed a tax return that you knew to be false or have failed to file a tax return altogether for one or more years. In that case, you should contact an experienced tax defense attorney to determine the best strategy to bring you into compliance without facing criminal tax prosecution. Together, you will work with your tax attorney to isolate the pertinent facts of your case. Then, you will jointly agree on a path forward to compliance. 

    Suppose 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 by an IRS or state tax authority auditeggshell auditreverse eggshell audit, or criminal tax investigation. In that case, 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 prosecution.


    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 disclosurebefore 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.

    You must hire an experienced and reputable criminal tax defense attorney to take you through the voluntary disclosure process. Only an Attorney has the Attorney-Client Privilege and Work Product Privileges that will prevent the very professional that you hire from potentially being forced to become a witness against you, especially where they prepared the returns that need to be amended in a subsequent criminal tax audit, investigation or prosecution.

    Moreover, only an Attorney can enter you into a voluntary disclosure without engaging in the unauthorized practice of law (a crime 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.

    As uniquely qualified and extensively experienced Criminal Tax Defense Tax AttorneysKovelCPAs, and EAs, our firm provides a one-stop shop to efficiently achieve the optimal and predictable results that simultaneously protect your liberty and net worthSee our Testimonials to see what our clients have to say about us!

    We Are Here for You

    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; our team will help ensure your business is, too. Contact the Law Offices of David W. Klasing today to discuss your business with one of our professionals.

    In addition to our fully staffed main office in downtown Irvine, California, the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing has unstaffed (conference room only) California-based satellite offices in Los AngelesSan BernardinoSanta BarbaraPanorama CityOxnardSan DiegoBakersfieldSan JoseSan FranciscoOaklandCarlsbad,Sacramento. We also have unstaffed (conference room only) satellite offices in Las Vegas, NevadaSalt Lake City, UtahPhoenix, Arizona & Albuquerque, New MexicoAustin, TexasWashington, D.C.; Miami, Florida; and New York, New York that solely handle Federal & California Tax issues.

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    We also offer a convenient scheduling option, where you can secure David W. Klasing, Esq M.S.-Tax CPA’s undivided attention for a 4-hour consultation at any of his satellite offices

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