Inside This Issue …
Shelter Operator Convicted
Guilty to Tax Evasion
Ga. Trucking Manager
Pleads Guilty to Fraud, Tax Charges
Owner Admits to Fraud, Tax Evasion
Gets 7 Years for Defrauding IRS
Four in California
Indicted for Tax Refund Scheme
Texas Man Gets 33
Tax Evader Receives
21 Months In Prison
Tax Shelter Operator Convicted
South Florida man accused of smuggling into the United States
ozone-depleting refrigerant chemicals known as Freon and hiding the income
in tax shelters has been convicted of tax evasion and money laundering.
Marc M. Harris was found guilty on 14 counts in all. Trial evidence showed
that Harris conspired to evade federal excise taxes on the sale of Freon
to customers in South Florida by filing phony paperwork to hide sales of
illegally imported Freon. Harris then used shell corporations and bank
accounts to hide the income, resulting in a tax loss of approximately $6.2
million between January 1993 and June 1994. In some cases, Harris
laundered money through wire transfers to Panamanian corporations and bank
Harris faces up to five years in prison for each of the two tax charges
and up to 20 years in prison for each of the 12 money laundering charges.
Periodontist Pleads Guilty to Tax
A St. Louis periodontist pleaded guilty to filing false tax returns for
the years 1996 to 1998 and now faces up to nine years in prison.
According to court documents, prior to 1996, the 54-year-old Linda Marilyn
Weaks deposited all non-cash business receipts into one main bank account
and reported the deposits to her accountant. In 1996, however, Weaks
opened second bank account and began to deposit some business income into
that account while not notifying her accountant of the receipts, causing
her income tax filings from 1996 to 1998 to be false. Additionally, when
Weaks received cash payments during those years, she did not report the
In all, Weaks was responsible for $39,026 in tax loss. In addition to
possible prison time, she faces up to a $100,000 fine for each of the
N.J. Restaurateurs Admit Tax Evasion
The former principals and shareholders of two New Jersey restaurants
called Company B’s admitted in court to attempting to evade $835,800 in
payroll and sales taxes from 1993 to 2000.
Christopher T. Bruton, 44, of Suffern, N.Y., and Leon Badick, 40, of
Congers, N.Y., underreported the total salary and wages paid to the
employees by approximately $2.8 million in order to evade approximately
$477,407 in payroll taxes, according to information filed with the court.
The restaurateurs also concealed $358,397 in collected sales taxes.
Each faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Bishop Gets 7 Years for Defrauding IRS
A North Carolina man who claimed to be a
reverend and a bishop received seven years in prison after he was found
guilty of conspiracy and federal tax violations in connection with
workshops that instructed people on how to defraud the IRS.
Frank Lesters Bowden, 52, of Goldsboro, N.C., filed IRS forms used to
report trust income in the names of several taxpayers, trial evidence
showed. However, none of the taxpayers for whom the forms were filed
operated trust accounts. All of the figures were fabricated.
Additionally, Bowden held seminars at his church and home that showed
other taxpayers how to file such false IRS forms for personal economic
gain. He also apparently told people about a fictitious place called
“Washitaw Nation,” an area purportedly populated by tax protesters who
have Washitaw-issued birth certificates and driver’s licenses.
Bowden charged $100 in cash to prepare fraudulent IRS forms for other
American taxpayers. He worked in connection with a 42-year-old woman named
Vickie Jones Peele, who was sentenced earlier to 18 months for her role in
Question Corner …
Question: I have my own business, and I do my own taxes. It’s a
one-man operation, but I make a good living. I also like to have complete
control over the business. That’s why I do my own taxes, I guess. Wasn’t
that a mistake! I got some advice online, read a few books, and made a
number of write-offs on last year’s return. That resulted in an IRS audit.
Now the government says I owe $25,000 in back taxes. I can’t pay that
tomorrow. What can I do?
Answer: You’re not the first person I’ve talked to who has suffered
this fate. Small-business owners who do their own taxes often research
write-offs to reduce the amount owed. They sometimes get bad information
and often become overzealous and write off expenses that aren’t allowed by
law. That can raise red flags and result in audits, such as the one you
From your question, it sounds like you do have the financial resources to
pay the $25,000 tax bill, even though you do not have the immediate cash
available. For this reason, your best action would be to consult with a
qualified tax professional about hammering out an agreement with the IRS
that would allow you to make installments.
IRS agents realize that few people have large sums of liquid capital
available. How many people can cut a check for $25,000 on command? Not
many. That’s why the IRS provides installment plans. For qualifying
taxpayers, the IRS allows debtors to pay a small monthly amount over a set
period of time. It’s similar to the way you pay your mortgage or car loan.
Keep in mind, however, that the $25,000 figure may not be accurate. You
may actually owe much less. A qualified tax professional will analyze your
previous tax return, expenses and receipts to find the exact amount owed.
This could be thousands of dollars below what you currently think you owe.
Following that process, your tax professional can discuss an installment
plan with the IRS.
I solve problems such as yours every day. That’s what I do: I’m an IRS
Problem Solver. For a free, no-risk consultation, call my office at
Thank You! Thank You!
Thanks to YOU, the word is spreading. Thanks to my clients and
friends who graciously referred me to their friends, clients and
relatives last month! I enjoy building my business based on the
positive comments and referrals from people just like you.
I just couldn’t do it without you!
GA. TRUCKING MANAGER PLEADS GUILTY TO FRAUD, TAX CHARGES
Martin W. Brown, a former trucking manager employed by
Castleberry/Snow Brand’s Inc. in Georgia, pleaded guilty to charges of
wire fraud and income tax evasion.
At his plea hearing, Brown admitted to cashing more than $500,000 worth of
“Comchecks,” a check issued by Ryder for drivers to use for small amounts
in emergency situations. At the time, Ryder contracted Brown’s company. To
cover up that he’d used the checks for personal expenses, Brown created
As a result, the Georgia man then did not claim the income on his personal
income tax return. He faces five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for
wire fraud and five years and a $100,000 fine for tax evasion.
HEALTHCARE BUSINESS OWNER
ADMITS TO FRAUD, TAX EVASION
Harry Kwabena Ossei, 44, the owner of two healthcare businesses in
Washington County, Minn., was sentenced to one year in prison and ordered
to pay $255,608 after pleading guilty to fraud and tax evasion charges.
Ossei admitted that, from 1996 to 2001, he defrauded Medicare for 255,608
by submitting false claims. He then failed to report the fraudulent income
on his tax return.
FOUR IN CALIFORNIA INDICTED FOR TAX
Four people from the Fresno, Calif., area have been indicted for
allegedly creating a scheme to collect false tax refund checks.
Jaime Sierra Torres, 32; Virginia Ramos, 47; Ramos’ sister, Oralia Barajas
de Torres, 50; and Barajas de Torres’ son, Jose Barajas Torres, 27,
allegedly filed income tax returns that listed employers who did not
employ the alleged wage earner and then claimed wages that would make the
wage earner eligible for a tax refund.
The four defendants used their home addresses and post office boxes to
receive the fraudulent refund checks, which the defendants then cashed at
various check-cashing establishments throughout California’s Central
Valley. If convicted, the defendants each face up to 10 years in prison
and a fine of up to $250,000.
TEXAS MAN GETS 33 MONTHS IN PRISON
Tyree Burks, of Arlington, Texas, was sentenced to 33 months and
ordered to pay $4,175 in restitution after he pleaded guilty to filing a
false income tax return. Burks admitted that he filed a 1998 personal tax
return that contained a false amount of earned income and income withheld,
resulting in a fraudulent tax refund.
TAX EVADER RECEIVES
21 MONTHS IN PRISON
Kenneth O’Kane, of Houston, Texas, was sentenced to 21 months in
prison after a two-day bench trial proved that O’Kane had evaded more than
$68,000 in taxes from 1994 to 1997. O’Kane, who worked at a car
dealership, had told his employer that he was exempt from federal income
tax withholdings. To further conceal his income, O’Kane used the Social
Security number of his child for income reported on IRS 1099 forms,
Thanks for the Kind Words!
“You and your staff worked very hard in helping me settle my case with the
IRS. Your professionalism, courtesy, friendliness and hard work certainly
made me a believer in your outstanding reputation as one of the best
lawyers I ever dealt with! I thank you again. I once again highly
recommend you and your firm to anyone in need of help in that field.”
- L. East
I’d Like To Hear From YOU!
Whether you’d like to avoid the IRS, contact the IRS, settle with the IRS
or just want to refer a friend, relative or client, I’d love to hear from
you. I would be happy to provide you or that special person you refer a
no-obligation confidential consultation to explain every option available
to solve IRS problems.