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Three Defendants Indicted on Counts of Filing a False Return, Conspiring to Defraud U.S.

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    According to a Department of Justice press release, several individuals in Hawaii were recently indicted on several criminal counts, including conspiring to defraud the United States, money laundering, and filing false tax returns. This story should remind taxpayers who have filed tax returns with intentionally incomplete or willfully false information that the IRS and the Department of Justice will not hesitate to investigate and prosecute potential tax crimes. 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 substantiated upon an IRS audit, Eggshell Audit, Reverse Eggshell Audit or criminal tax investigation, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced tax defense attorney to determine the best strategy to bring you into tax compliance without facing criminal tax proasecution.

    Defendants Allegedly Claimed More Than $1.5m in False Refunds

    Court records reveal that Hanna Heart, Sook Young Jung, and an unnamed individual are alleged to have filed fraudulent federal income tax returns seeking refunds based on claims that they had large amounts of tax withheld from their earnings. The trio allegedly filed false tax returns in 2014 and 2015, fraudulently seeking $464,904 and $1,134,902 of refunds, respectively. Federal prosecutors also allege that the defendants took deliberate steps to prevent the IRS from collecting the refunds that resulted from the fraudulently filed tax returns. Lastly, Heart and Jung are accused of laundering the refund proceeds through a variety of financial transactions.

    If they are convicted, Heart and Jung face up to 10 years in federal prison for each count of money laundering, three years for each instance of filing a false tax return, and up to five years for conspiring to defraud the United States. Additionally, the defendants could face several years of supervised release, commencing upon the completion of their federal prison sentence. Lastly, if the defendants are convicted, each may be required to pay restitution to the IRS, representing the tax loss that they caused.

    Coming Into Compliance If You Are at Risk for Examination

    Although many taxpayers are likely not as bold as to file a false refund claim for over $1.5 million, it is important to understand that the IRS and Department of Justice pursue investigations and criminal tax prosecutions against taxpayers for significantly less amounts. Whether you are a business owner who has understated your income or overstated your deductions, or a wage earner who has failed to file a tax return for one or more years, increased IRS enforcement efforts signal an increased risk for audit and investigation.

    If you have failed to file a tax return for one or more years, or have filed a false tax return, it is in your best interest to contact a seasoned tax defense attorney. Together, you will identify your potential civil and criminal exposures, and determine the best path to get you right with the government. While you are being represented by an experienced tax defense attorney, you won’t have to go up against the IRS alone, giving you increased peace of mind.

    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 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. 

    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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