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Story Update: New York Pharmacist Pleads Guilty to Various Crimes Including Filing False Tax Returns

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    According to a Department of Justice press release, a New York pharmacist has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute oxycodone, possession of oxycodone, and filing false business and personal income tax returns. This story highlights the importance of tax compliance and the dangers of knowingly filing a tax return with false information, which can lead to severe civil and criminal tax penalties. If you have fallen behind on your tax filings or have filed one or more false tax returns, it is crucial to contact an experienced tax lawyer as soon as possible in order to get back into compliance without facing criminal tax prosecution.

    Defendant Underreported Income for Several Years

    This is an update to a story that we brought you several years ago. If you recall, Daniel E. Russo, owner and operator of Russo’s Pharmacy, Inc. in Far Rockaway, Queens, admitted in court that he conspired with others to illegally distribute oxycodone, a controlled substance, between 2011 and 2014. Additionally, Russo filed false tax returns on behalf of his pharmacy for the years 2013 through 2016, which underreported the gross receipts and ordinary business income of the pharmacy. He also filed false personal tax returns from 2012 through 2016, underreporting the income he received from his business. As a result, Russo caused a tax loss of more than $415,000.

    Russo now faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for each count of conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute, and three years in prison for each count of filing a false tax return. He also faces a period of supervised release, restitution, monetary penalties, and forfeiture.

    Working With an Experienced Tax Attorney to Come into Compliance

    This case serves as a reminder of the importance of adhering to federal income tax laws, particularly correctly reporting your taxable income. Falling out of tax compliance can result in serious civil and criminal consequences, as demonstrated by Russo’s situation. Compliance is essential to avoid potential legal and financial repercussions, up to and including a federal prison sentence.

    If you are not in tax compliance, whether due to failing to file a tax return for one or more years or taking a position on a tax return that could not be supported if pressed by the IRS, it is crucial to seek the assistance of an seasoned tax lawyer. Acting promptly can help mitigate potential civil and criminal penalties inherent in tax disputes with the IRS and the Department of Justice.

    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 prosecution.

    Note: 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. 

    It is imperative that you 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 being 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 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.

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

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