After reading this story, it will become clear that it has not been a good month for precious metal brokers when it comes to going to prison for tax-related offenses. Today, we bring you not one, but two stories about brokers of precious metals that have found themselves on the wrong side of criminal tax law. But do not take this article lightly, precious metal professionals are not the only group being identified and prosecuted for failing to comply with the tax laws. If you haven’t been living up to federal or state tax laws, it is in your best interest to contact a tax defense attorney as soon as possible.
According to a Department of Justice press release, Christopher Wolf, of Dania Beach, Florida, was recently sentenced to serve 24 months in a federal prison for evading income tax and aiding and assisting in the preparation of false tax returns. At his trial in late 2018, prosecutors from the Department of justice presented evidence showing that Wolf operated Rothchild & Associates LLC, in Brooklyn, New York. Rothchild’s business focused on selling precious metals to consumers over the telephone.
According to prosecutors, between 2010 and 2011, Wolf engaged in activity with the intent to avoid the payment of taxes. In 2010, Wolf’s individual tax return did not report any income that he earned while working at Rothchild, which was paid to him through shell companies that he set up. In 2011, Wolf failed to file an individual tax return, altogether. Additionally, Wolf filed tax returns for the shell corporations that he was paid through, but claimed fictitious deductions to avoid paying tax on any of the income that flowed through them.
Unsurprisingly, this isn’t Wolf’s first interaction with the criminal justice system. In 2000, in a case that was unrelated to taxation, Wolf was convicted of securities fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. He was sentenced to serve 10 years in federal prison in that case.
After Wolf finishes his second stint in federal prison, he will be required to serve three years of supervised release. Finally, Wolf was ordered to pay nearly $240,000 in restitution to the IRS for the taxes that he evaded.
Not to be outdone, an Atlanta precious metals broker was also recently sentenced to serve nearly two years in a federal prison after being convicted on three counts of failing to file income tax returns.
According to a Department of Justice press release, Saleem Hakim was likewise in the business of selling precious metals to clients. As a part of his business, Hakim would receive funds from clients, convert a portion of those funds into precious metals, and keep a portion of the funds himself in the form of a commission.
Although Hakim received over $1 million in commissions from clients between 2011 and 2013, he failed to file an individual tax return for any of those years. After being convicted, Hakim failed to appear at his sentencing hearing. He was captured on April 21st and had been jailed since.
Like Mr. Wolf from the first part of our story, Hakim will be required to serve a term of supervised release once he is released from federal prison. Finally, Hakim will be required to pay nearly $640,000 in restitution to the IRS.
These two stories illustrate that the IRS and the Department of Justice do not take the failure to timely file tax returns lightly. Many taxpayers believe that the IRS only goes after “big fish” but that is simply not the case. Although the two taxpayers highlighted in this story were brokers of precious metals, such connection is merely a coincidence. Taxpayers from all walks of life frequently find themselves in the crosshairs of an IRS or state tax audit.
If you are behind on your tax filings or payments or have received notice that your tax return has been selected for examination, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced tax defense attorney as soon as possible. In addition to providing solid technical tax insights, a seasoned tax lawyer will bring an extensive legal education to the table, which can be used to fight back against intrusive requests or questioning that seeks to elicit potentially incriminating responses.
The tax and accounting professionals at the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing have extensive experience in representing taxpayers from diverse backgrounds in a wide variety of tax predicaments. Whether you have fallen behind on your tax installment payments or if you simply haven’t filed a tax return in many years, our team of zealous advocates is waiting to help you develop a plan to get you back on track. Do not let the threat of an IRS or state tax investigation keep you up at night. Contact the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing today for a reduced-rate consultation.
Here is a link to our YouTube channel: click here!
Also, we’ve expanded our offices! In addition to our offices in Irvine and Los Angeles, the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing now have offices San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, Panorama City, Oxnard, San Diego, Bakersfield, San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland, and Sacramento.
Note: If you have concerns about the privacy of our initial or subsequent communication and are unable to easily travel to our Irvine / Orange County Main Office, consider scheduling a GoToMeeting to safely and securely establish an initial or maintain an existing attorney client relationship. With end-to-end encryption, strong passwords and top-rated reliability, no one is messing with your meeting. To schedule a reduced rate initial consultation via GoToMeeting follow this link. Call our office and request a GoToMeeting if you are an existing client. We are generally happy to travel to any of our appointment only satellite offices for a subsequent meeting in appropriate circumstances once a relationship is established via a signed engagement letter and the payment of an initial retainer or where enough retainer is available where a current client to cover the reasonable travel time and time required for the meeting.
Will it cost me more to hire the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing, who’s main office and the vast majority of the firm’s staff is located in Irvine California, but an appointment only Satellite office is close to my location, as opposed to a local company? Absolutely not! See our policies that address this issue here:
Questions and Answers on Unfiled Back Taxes