According to a Department of Justice press release, multiple members of a family who operated a New York donut shop were recently sentenced to federal prison after being convicted of tax evasion and other crimes. This story should serve as a reminder to taxpayers from all walks of life that the potential repercussions associated with a criminal tax investigation or prosecution far outweigh the potential benefits gained by attempting to cheat the system. If you have failed to file a business or individual income tax return for one or more years, or have filed a tax return containing information that could not be supported upon examination, it is in your best interest to seek assistance from an experienced tax defense attorney.
This post is an update to our previous coverage relating to this criminal matter. If you recall, John Zourdos, his wife Helen Zourdos, and their son Dimitrios Zourdos, all residents of New York, were the joint operators of three Dippin Donuts stores. Prosecutors alleged that between 2013 and 2017, the defendants underreported more than $2.8m in cash sales. This resulted in the underpayment of more than $650,000 of individual income taxes. To avoid the proper amount of income being reported, the defendants deposited cash from the business in various personal bank accounts. Employees were paid off-the-books, as well. Finally, prosecutors alleged that the defendants caused their tax preparers to file false individual and corporate income tax returns. The funds that would have otherwise been used to pay their true tax liability were instead used to support an extravagant lifestyle, including purchasing luxury vehicles.
The defendants were convicted on several counts of conspiracy to defraud the United States, tax evasion, and aiding and assisting in the filing of false corporate tax returns. John Zourdos was sentenced to serve 30 months in federal prison. His wife, Helen Zourdos, was ordered to serve 20 months in prison, and their son, Dimitrios Zourdos, was ordered to serve 10 months in prison. Each defendant was ordered to serve three years of supervised release upon the completion of their physical incarceration. Lastly, the defendants were ordered to pay more than $2 million in restitution to the IRS, representing the tax loss caused.
The defendants profiled in the story above have probably learned that correcting their non-compliant tax behavior would have likely changed the outcome of their interaction with the IRS and Department of Justice. Generally speaking, those taxpayers who come forward after falling out of tax compliance to get right with the government experience more favorable outcomes than those who wait to be audited, a criminal investigation to be initiated, or criminal tax charges to be filed to take corrective actions.
If you have failed to file a tax return for one or more years or have taken a knowingly false position on a filed tax return, you should consult with an experienced tax defense attorney to determine the best strategy to come into compliance. Together, you will work with your seasoned tax attorney to establish the pertinent facts of your case. Then, you will mutually agree on the next steps to bring you into tax compliance while attempting to minimize civil and criminal repercussions.
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 and our team will help ensure that 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 main office in Irvine, the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing has unstaffed (conference room only) satellite offices in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, Panorama City, Oxnard, San Diego, Bakersfield, San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland, Carlsbad, and Sacramento.
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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.
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, Kovel CPAs 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!