RSS Feed This is an RSS Feed en Wed, 17 Jul 2024 22:25:20 +0000 Wed, 17 Jul 2024 22:25:20 +0000 5 Should You Grant The IRS An Extension For Their Audit? <p>Like everyone else, the IRS has deadlines. If you file a tax return with potential problems, federal law requires the IRS to bring an audit within a certain time frame. The IRS can only extend the time frame for specific reasons, including if the taxpayer consents to the extension. As counter-intuitive as it may seem to help out the IRS, there may be good reasons to give the IRS your consent for an extension. Continue reading for a discussion of when giving the IRS an extension on your audit might actually work in your favor, and contact a dedicated Texas IRS audit attorney with any questions or for help with an IRS tax problem in Dallas or Tyler, Texas.</p><p>The Audit Deadline</p><p>Pursuant to the assessment statute, the IRS generally has three years from the later of either the date the return was due or the date the return was actually filed to bring an audit. If the IRS audits a tax return and determines that there is an additional tax liability, they generally must process the tax assessment within the same time period. In order to extend this time period, the IRS generally must get your consent.</p><p>Should You Give The IRS More Time?</p><p>It may seem counterintuitive, but there are good reasons to grant the IRS its requested extension. First of all, if you say no, the IRS will almost certainly issue a notice assessing extra taxes. They are likely mid-way through your review and, if you force their hand, they will resolve remaining ambiguities in favor of a higher assessment. By agreeing to an extension, you may be able to limit the scope of the extension to certain issues, or give them a specified time limit (such as an additional year).</p><p>Secondly, you might have been caught by surprise that you were being audited at all. Granting the extension gives you more time to hire a tax adviser and/or an audit representation attorney to help you through the audit process and limit your additional tax liability. By refusing the IRS an extension, the IRS will likely stop the process and issue a notice of deficiency immediately, limiting your time to go through the normal appeals process and petition a tax court. Additionally, you may find that there are additional audit issues that are actually in your favor and which may offset a proposed tax assessment or even lead to an overdue refund.</p><p>If you are able to get all of the information into the record that supports your tax claims, then you may be better off not agreeing to extend the time limit. Particularly if you are a larger tax payer and the audit is very complex, you may benefit from limiting the IRS’s time to review your return. As noted, the IRS will likely file a notice of deficiency, with a larger tax assessment, forcing you to file a petition in the tax court to fight the assessment. You may be able to argue that the IRS’s case was not fully developed, and you may prevent the IRS from discovering additional issues. Some taxpayers may prefer to avoid the publicity associated with a public tax case or the financial impact the delinquency notice may have until it is resolved.</p><p>Regardless, if you plan to keep the IRS to its three-year deadline, it is good to notify the IRS of as much at the beginning of the audit. This will help avoid angering the IRS further and causing them to issue an inflated assessment. A seasoned tax audit representation attorney can help you determine the right course of action during your audit.</p><p>If you’re facing a complicated tax issue involving back taxes or allegations of tax fraud, tax evasion, or false returns, get skilled legal help with your case from the Texas tax lawyers at the Scammahorn Law Firm, PC at 903-595-1000, with offices in Dallas and Tyler.</p> Tue, 10 Sep 2019 05:00:00 +0000 Scammers Posing As IRS Agents Sentenced To Federal Prison <p>After years of defrauding US citizens while posing as IRS or US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officials, over twenty individuals were sentenced to prison for their involvement in a widespread scheme that defrauded victims out of millions of dollars. Read on to learn more about this fraud, as well as tips on how to avoid becoming a fraud victim, and contact a Dallas tax attorney if you’ve been contacted by the IRS about a tax problem.</p><p><strong>Phone Scammers Based In India Demanded Money They Claimed Was Owed To The Government</strong></p><p>The recent sentencings targeted a phone-based scam operating from 2012 to 2016. Scammers would call American citizens, claiming to be agents from the IRS or USCIS. These alleged agents would threaten individuals with arrest, prison time, or even deportation if they didn’t pay their back taxes or fines to the government. The agents instructed victims to send money in the form of a wire, or through gift credit or debit cards.</p><p>While the scam in question was based in Ahmedabad, India, the scam incorporated agents based in the US to collect the submitted wires or gift cards and launder the funds. The recent sentencings targeted the agents based in the US, who were charged with money laundering and wire fraud conspiracy. These so-called “runners” handled millions of dollars in fraudulently-obtained funds, transferring them to the scam’s headquarters in India and earning a percentage of these funds. For example, Miteshkumar Patel is believed to have laundered between $9.5 and $25 million in ill-gotten funds. Patel was sentenced to 240 months in federal prison and three years of supervised release. Twenty other agents who supported the conspiracy were also sentenced, and some are facing deportation once their prison sentences are completed.</p><p><strong>Avoid Becoming The Victim Of Fraud</strong></p><p>You can avoid becoming the victim of phone fraud by following these tips:</p><ul><li>If you get a call from someone posing as an IRS agent, assume it’s a scam.</li><li>Call the IRS back using an official number from the website; you can reach the IRS by calling 800-829-1040.</li><li>No IRS agent will demand payment over the phone, nor will they threaten you with immediate arrest.</li><li>If you owe back taxes, you’ll have received a bill in the mail before you’ll be called by an agent.</li><li>Before the IRS will demand payment, they will first give you an opportunity to learn more about the amount you supposedly owe and a chance to appeal their decision.</li></ul><p>One excellent way to avoid becoming the victim of a scheme targeting people who owe back taxes is to clear up any tax issues as soon as they arise. A seasoned Texas tax lawyer can help you find a workable solution to address any unpaid taxes or errors on past tax filings, whether through an installment plan, offer in compromise, or other relief from tax debts.</p><p>For skilled, seasoned, and professional help with unpaid taxes or audits in Texas, contact the Tyler offices of the Scammahorn Law Firm for a consultation at 903-595-1000, with additional offices in Dallas.</p> Tue, 10 Sep 2019 05:00:00 +0000 What Are The Tax Fraud Charges Against Paul Manafort? <p><strong>The tax fraud trial of former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort has recently concluded, and jurors are in the midst of deliberating on whether to find him guilty on some or all of the 18 charges alleged by the Justice Department. Read on to learn about the crimes with which Manafort has been charged, and contact a seasoned Tyler tax attorney with any additional questions.</strong></p><p>Paul Manafort has been working for prominent Republican politicians as far back as the 1970s, when he worked for Gerald Ford’s 1976 presidential campaign. Manafort began a lobbying and consulting firm after helping Ronald Reagan get elected in 1980. The firm focused on representing international leaders, many of whom were the subject of controversy. By the early 2000s, Manafort had begun working in the Ukraine, specifically with the pro-Russian Party of Regions. Manafort’s candidate was successfully elected in 2010, but was ousted in 2014 in response to widespread protest. Nevertheless, Manafort earned over $60 million during his time in the Ukraine, according to federal investigators. He began working—for free—for the Trump campaign in the spring of 2016, but stepped down during the summer when he faced increasing scrutiny over whether the payments he received while working in the Ukraine were legal.</p><p>Manafort was indicted in October of 2017, with additional charges against him being added in February and June of 2018. The charges were split between two trials. The first trial, which recently concluded, centered on claims of tax and bank fraud. Specifically, Manafort was facing 18 counts for four separate crimes. Prosecutors claim that Manafort set up a network of offshore companies and accounts, where he funneled the money he earned abroad. They claimed that Manafort spent millions of that money on pricey antiques, clothing, real estate, and vehicles as well as making fraudulent “loans” to American companies he operated.</p><p>The indictment claimed that Manafort filed false income tax returns when he failed to report this money on his tax returns. They also claim that Manafort violated the law by failing to disclose that he had money stashed abroad by filing an FBAR form (the form required by the IRS when a taxpayer has foreign bank or financial accounts). The remaining counts focused on claims that Manafort lied when seeking bank loans. At trial, Manafort’s former business partner Rick Gates testified that he and Manafort knowingly committed numerous crimes, such as failing to report numerous foreign bank accounts per Manafort’s instruction. Gates has already pled guilty to numerous crimes, including charges of embezzling from Manafort, and testified as part of a deal with federal prosecutors. The jury is still in the midst of deliberations at the time of this writing, and Manafort could face a federal prison sentence lasting the remainder of his lifetime.</p><p>If you’re facing tax issues in Texas, such as a tax audit, bank levy, or charges of tax fraud, get help in fighting these charges by contacting the knowledgeable and aggressive Tyler tax attorneys at the Scammahorn Law Firm for a consultation at 903-595-1000, with additional offices in Dallas.</p> Tue, 10 Sep 2019 05:00:00 +0000 Texas Lawyer Faces Fines, Jail Time For Massive Offshore Tax Scheme <p>No one is above the law, and no one can outwit the IRS forever, even lawyers. A grand jury recently returned an indictment against a Texas lawyer for allegedly hiding more than $18 million in offshore bank accounts. Learn more about the case against the lawyer, and contact a dedicated Texas tax fraud defense attorney with any questions or for help with an IRS tax problem in Dallas or Tyler, Texas.</p><h3>Offshore Tax Evasion Scheme</h3><p>According to a press release from the Department of Justice, a federal jury sitting in Houston returned an indictment charging a Texas lawyer with one count of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and three counts of tax evasion. Prosecutors allege the defendant conspired with someone else to hide more than $18 million of the co-conspirator’s untaxed earnings in foreign bank accounts located in the Isle of Man. They disguised the funds as stock purchases by U.S. corporations owned by the defendant and his co-conspirator. The defendant was paid more than $4.8 million for helping to hide his co-conspirator’s untaxed earnings.</p><p>Returning an indictment is not the same as proving ultimate guilt. A returned indictment means a grand jury believes charges should be brought, which allows the prosecution to move forward. The defendant is still presumed innocent until found guilty. If convicted, the lawyer faces up to five years in prison for conspiracy, and another five years for each of the three counts of tax evasion.</p><h3>Criminal Proceeds Are Taxable</h3><p>Many people do not realize that even criminal earnings are technically taxable. Obviously someone who has committed a crime does not want to tell the government as much by filing taxes on the criminally-obtained profits. As a result, the DOJ will sometimes tack on tax evasion charges on top of other charges or instead of other crimes that may be harder to prove. In this case, the defendant lawyer is also charged with evading taxes on the $4.8 million he earned in the criminal conspiracy, which he allegedly did by withdrawing the funds as claimed non-taxable loans or returns of capital.</p><p>If you’re facing a complicated tax issue involving back taxes, tax fraud, tax evasion, or false returns, get skilled legal help with your case from the Texas tax lawyers at the Scammahorn Law Firm. Contact the Scammahorn Law Firm today to schedule a consultation in Tyler at 903-525-6849, or in Dallas at 214-377-2875. The Scammahorn Law Firm also offers consultations via telephone to accommodate all who are facing issues with the IRS.</p> Tue, 10 Sep 2019 05:00:00 +0000 Two Texas Women Charged With Tax Fraud & Conspiracy <p>In November, a federal grand jury sitting in Waco, TX charged two Texas women operating a tax preparation business with conspiracy to defraud the United States, aiding and assisting in the preparation of false tax returns, and filing false personal income tax returns. According to the indictment, Stacey Anderson, assisted by Janell Lightner, operated a Texas-based tax preparation business called Anderson Professional Tax Services. However, the business did not have a storefront or office and typically prepared and filed tax returns from Anderson’s home. The indictment goes on to allege Anderson and Lightner conspired to defraud the U.S. government and prepared clients’ tax returns, for years 2013 through 2017, with falsely claimed business losses, deductions, and/or education credits to fraudulently increase their tax refunds.</p><p>Anderson was also charged alone with filing false 2013 and 2014 tax returns for herself. She allegedly sought the same education credit she falsely claimed on her clients’ tax returns and failed to report income she earned from her tax preparation business.</p><h3>What Does Tax Preparer Fraud Mean For The Taxpayers?</h3><p>Anderson’s and Lightner’s clients were from Texas, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. and could face tax fraud charges as well. Before 2001, courts generally declined to extend tax preparer intent to prepare and file false tax returns to taxpayer intent to commit tax fraud. But on March 30, 2001, the IRS changed tack with a decision concluding that the fraudulent intent of the tax preparer may be used to keep the statute of limitations open on the taxpayer’s return in order to investigate taxpayer fraud. Tax courts have since backed up this ruling, allowing the IRS to extend the statute of limitations on tax assessments based on tax preparer fraud.</p><p>Taxpayers are primarily responsible for any errors on tax returns, which means clients of Anderson Professional Tax Services will be required to pay the IRS any taxes they still owe as the result of Anderson’s fraud. Also, they’ll likely have to pay back the tax refund amounts they weren’t entitled to receive. And, if the IRS hasn’t already started investigating Anderson’s clients for intent to commit tax fraud themselves, they may do so now.</p><h3>Talk To An Experienced Texas Tax Defense Lawyer Before You Talk To The IRS</h3><p>If you’re facing a tax assessment, audit, or any other action by the IRS, talk to an experienced Dallas tax defense attorney, so you understand your rights and options moving forward. In northeast Texas, contact Scammahorn Law Firm P.C. for a confidential consultation, either in person or by phone. With offices in Tyler and Dallas, we’re here to help Texas taxpayers avoid the most severe IRS charges and penalties.</p> Tue, 10 Sep 2019 05:00:00 +0000 Failure To Adjust Withholding Under New Tax Law Could Result In Big Tax Bill <p>The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which went into effect in January 2018, will make its full impact known at the end of this year as taxpayers calculate their tax burden under these new laws. Taxpayers who failed to recalculate what they’ll owe for their 2018 earnings may face a rude awakening when their tax bill comes due. However, there are several steps that taxpayers can take in the waning days of 2018 to help reduce their tax burden in the new year. Learn more below, and contact a seasoned Dallas tax attorney with any additional questions.</p><h3>Failure To Adjust Withholding Could Result In Large Tax Burden</h3><p>2018 witnessed the first substantial update to the US tax code in many years. One of the changes that will affect the most taxpayers is the change to the standard deduction and elimination of the personal exemption, as well as a number of other deductions. The IRS announced at the start of the year that taxpayers should complete a revised W-4, a form which calculates the amount that should be withheld from every paycheck to cover the employee’s income tax obligation. However, a survey by H&amp;R Block showed that only about one in five survey participants completed a new W-4 at the start of the year, meaning that many taxpayers, especially retirees, high-income earners with dependents, or those who itemize their tax return, likely did not have the correct amount of income tax withheld from their 2018 paychecks. In fact, the Government Accountability Office estimates that about 20% of all taxpayers will owe taxes in 2019 based on their 2018 earnings.</p><h3>Potential Ways To Reduce Your Tax Burden At The Close Of 2018</h3><p>While there’s no way to adjust your withholding for 2018 earnings now, there may be steps you can take before the end of the year to reduce the amount you owe come tax time. Remember that everybody’s tax situation is unique, so don’t make any specific changes without considering your overall finance situation and perhaps first visiting with your accountant, tax preparer or tax attorney.</p><p>Make an additional mortgage payment: If you’re still eligible to claim the mortgage interest deduction, then paying extra toward your mortgage before December 31 could save you a bit of money. Keep in mind, however, that the number of people who benefit from this deduction shrank with the changes to the tax law, so you may want to check with a tax specialist to find out if you still qualify.</p><p>Pay more towards your retirement plan: If you haven’t already made sure that you’re contributing the amount that your employer will match in contributions to your 401(k), or even maxed out how much you can legally contribute to your retirement account, do so now.</p><p>Ask for your year-end bonus to be deferred: Many people receive a bonus at the end of the year from their employer, but if you’re already worried about the taxes you’ll owe on the income you’ve already been paid in 2018, it might make more sense to receive that bonus in 2019 instead. Ask your employer if they can hold off paying you your bonus until January.</p><p>If you need seasoned legal help with a tax issue, such as unpaid back taxes or an audit, contact the professional, seasoned, and effective Tyler tax attorney at the Scammahorn Law Firm, PC for a consultation at 903-595-1000, with additional offices in Dallas.</p> Tue, 10 Sep 2019 05:00:00 +0000 Texas Couple Facing Trial For Unreported Income And Other Tax Charges <p>A couple from Bastrop, Texas, is facing trial on federal tax charges based on returns filed for the restaurants that the couple owned in Bastrop County. The couple could face up to five years in prison based on the charges they face. Learn more about the case below, and contact an experienced Dallas, Texas tax attorney if you’re dealing with serious tax issues.</p><h3>Restaurateurs Fail To Report Cash Income</h3><p>Michael and Cynthia Herman are the former owners of three restaurants, two in downtown Bastrop and one near the Travis County line. The couple was indicted in 2017 on charges relating to business expenses claimed on their tax returns, including seven counts of tax fraud and one count of conspiring to defraud the IRS. Federal prosecutors claim that the Hermans avoided paying taxes on the full extent of their income by failing to deposit all cash receipts received at the restaurants to their business bank accounts. That cash was never reported to their tax preparer as business income and thus never reported to the IRS. The government also alleges that the couple used their business accounts to pay personal expenses, such as pool repair costs, home utility bills and the salary of a home employee, all while claiming that these expenses were business-related. The couple pleaded not guilty to the charges, and they continue to maintain their innocence of any wrongdoing.</p><h3>Trial Delayed Multiple Times</h3><p>So far, the Hermans’ trial has been delayed multiple times, in part due to the number of documents involved in the case. Prosecutors explained that federal investigators had been looking into the couple’s finances since 2013. Their investigation resulted in prosecutors being given some 44 boxes of materials seized pursuant to a warrant, as well as over 27,000 pages of materials, a terabyte-sized hard drive full of materials needing review, and multiple audio and video recordings. Prosecutors requested the first delay of trial, explaining that they would need to find additional accounting experts to review the years’ worth of ledgers related to the couple’s two business entities (and would need to wait out tax season to do so). The Hermans have also hired experts to review the documents and provide a counterpoint to prosecutors’ claims. Additional requests for more time followed, with the fifth and most recent extension of time having been granted earlier this month.</p><p>If you’re facing claims by the IRS or are being audited or charged with tax-related crimes, make sure you have a seasoned and dedicated defense to those claims by contacting the skilled Texas tax lawyers at the Scammahorn Law Firm for a confidential consultation, in Tyler at (903) 595-1000.</p> Tue, 10 Sep 2019 05:00:00 +0000 Federal Court Finds “Willful” Violation Of Foreign Bank Account Reporting Requirements Where Taxpayer Apparently Didn’t Read The Appropriate Schedules <p>A recent opinion from the Court of Federal Claims significantly undercuts taxpayers’ ability to claim that certain errors on forms were accidental, finding that what might otherwise be seen as merely a negligent failure to report certain foreign bank accounts in fact justified a “willful” finding leading to a severe tax penalty. See below for an explanation of the case and its ruling, and contact a dedicated Texas tax fraud defense attorney at Scammahorn Law Firm for help with an IRS tax problem in Dallas or Tyler, Texas.</p><p><strong>Court of Federal Claims: You can be “willfully” guilty of failing to report foreign accounts as long as at least once you checked “no” in the “foreign bank accounts” box</strong></p><p>The recent case of Kimble v. U.S. concerned a taxpayer who failed to report certain foreign bank accounts on her tax return. The taxpayer’s parents had opened a Swiss investment account with the taxpayer listed as a joint owner, and the taxpayer had opened a French bank account with her former husband. She did not disclose the Swiss account during the divorce, and she became sole owner of the French account after her divorce. She did not report these foreign accounts on her tax returns from 2000 through 2009. The case concerned whether her failure was a “willful” violation of the tax laws, which carries a significant additional penalty beyond mere failure to report income.</p><p>The taxpayer did not mention either foreign account to the CPA she hired to prepare her federal and state tax returns from 2000 until 2010, and she never asked the CPA if she needed to report foreign accounts on her federal tax return. She did not report investment income from the foreign accounts during those years. Notably, she also did not review her individual income tax returns for accuracy after the CPA prepared them in the years 2003 through 2008. At least once, in her 2007 tax return, she specifically answered “no” to the question on the return as to whether she had any foreign bank accounts.</p><p>In 2009, she applied for the federal Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program, under which taxpayers who may face civil or criminal penalties for failure to report offshore accounts can seek leniency and a reduction in penalties by voluntarily reporting offshore accounts not previously disclosed and by filing amended returns. This action later led to the IRS reviewing her previous tax returns in 2013.</p><p>Based in particular on the facts that she did not review her tax returns for accuracy, that she did not file the required Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) for many years, and that she checked “no” in the box asking about foreign bank accounts on her 2007 return, the IRS found that she had acted “willfully.” The Court of Federal Claims agreed with the IRS and found that both “willful blindness” and “reckless disregard” of the FBAR requirements satisfied the standard of “willfully” violating the tax laws.</p><p>The court leaned heavily on her having checked the “no” box in 2007 regarding her possessing foreign bank accounts, essentially stating that that alone put her on actual notice of the FBAR requirement and that her failure to report was therefore willful. This suggests that all taxpayers who check the “no” box are therefore by default guilty of a “willful” violation for any failure to report income.</p><p>If you’re facing a complicated tax issue involving allegations of back taxes, tax fraud, tax evasion, or false returns, get skilled legal help with your case from a Texas tax lawyer at the Scammahorn Law Firm at 903-595-1000, with offices in Dallas and Tyler.</p> Tue, 10 Sep 2019 05:00:00 +0000 Supreme Court Ruling On Internet Sales Tax Creates Hurdles For Small Businesses <p>The Supreme Court of the United States recently issued a ruling that has led to massive headaches for small online retailers who do business across state lines. The decision, which marked a sharp change from precedent, allows states to collect sales taxes from online business who do business within those states, creating a system in which small online retailers have to keep track of the different tax laws in each state across the country. Read below for an explanation of the ruling and its effect, and contact a dedicated Texas business tax attorney with any questions or for help with an IRS tax problem in Dallas or Tyler, Texas.</p><h3>Supreme Court Veers From Precedent, Makes Life Difficult For Small Business Owners</h3><p>For years, the Supreme Court emphasized a doctrine known as the “dormant Commerce Clause” that prevented states from enacting policies that inhibited the free flow of commerce across state lines. The federal government is meant to control interstate commerce, and the state legislatures are meant to control business within their state. In 1992 the Supreme Court ruled that North Dakota could not collect sales tax from a catalog-based office retailer that sold products to other businesses in the state but which did not have a physical location within the state. This case became the shield for online retailers who sell goods across the country without operating physical locations within each state.</p><p>Last year the Supreme Court upended this precedent in South Dakota v. Wayfair, upholding a South Dakota law which demands sales tax from any business, regardless of physical presence within the state, that has made at least 200 transactions or $100,000 in sales in South Dakota in a given year. The majority opinion said the 1992 decision was wrongly decided, and that it had become a “judicially-created tax shelter” for businesses with a limited physical presence, common now for online retailers.</p><p>The effects of the ruling have been unfortunately vague. While South Dakota’s law might exempt smaller retailers, the Supreme Court’s opinion leaves entirely unclear the low-end threshold for when a company has done enough business within a state to justify being charged a sales tax. Moreover, 200 sales may seem like a lot if you are selling large manufacturing equipment, but if you are selling novelty t-shirts, 200 sales in a given area is extremely likely. Many states have since either issued new tax laws or reinterpreted existing law to require sales tax from online retailers at various thresholds, many of which are below South Dakota’s. Many counties and cities across the country also have sales taxes, and wading through city-by-city tax laws can become an insurmountable burden for many smaller online businesses. An experienced tax attorney can help you determine both whether you owe taxes in a locale and, if so, what you owe.</p><p>If you’re facing a complicated tax issue involving state or local tax law, or payroll or other business taxes, get skilled legal help with your case from the Texas tax lawyers at the Scammahorn Law Firm, PC at 903-595-1000, with offices in Dallas and Tyler.</p> Tue, 10 Sep 2019 05:00:00 +0000 Three Indicted In Million Dollar Texas Tax Fraud Scheme <p>As the saying goes, only two things in life are certain: death and taxes. No matter how clever you believe your scheme to be, the government will find a way to get you to pay in the end. A Texarkana native and two associates found that out the hard way recently when they were indicted for alleged tax fraud to the tune of over $1 million in unpaid taxes. Read on for details about the case, and contact a dedicated Texas tax fraud defense attorney with any questions or for help with an IRS tax problem in Dallas or Tyler, Texas.</p><h3>Tax Scheme Involving Aliases, Stolen Identities, Multiple Banks And Fake W-2s</h3><p>A federal indictment was recently unsealed in the Texarkana division of the Eastern District of Texas that accuses two men and a woman of perpetrating an elaborate scheme to defraud the federal government into doling out undeserved tax refunds. The 19-count indictment details a multitude of crimes over several years beginning in 2011 involving at least a dozen banks.</p><p>The defendants are accused of stealing federal funds by filing 153 false tax returns netting over $1 million in 2011, 2012, and 2013. The defendants allegedly used stolen identities and fake W-2 forms to claim tax refunds that they were not actually owed. They funneled the ill-gotten tax returns through multiple banks including Domino Credit Union and Red River Employees Credit Union in Texarkana. The defendants are charged with conspiracy to commit theft of public money by obtaining tax refunds to which they were not entitled from the IRS, as well as multiple counts of theft of government money, aggravated identity theft, and money laundering. The defendants face up to five years in prison for the conspiracy count, up to 10 years for each count of theft of government money, up to two years for each count of aggravated identity theft, and another 10-20 years for each count of money laundering.</p><p>Two of the defendants appeared in court and entered pleas of not guilty to all 19 counts. The third alleged co-conspirator, charged only for conspiracy in the first count of the indictment, has yet to appear in court. The defendants resided in Dallas, Houston, Louisiana, and Nigeria during the time the crimes were allegedly committed.</p><p>If you’re facing a complicated tax issue involving back taxes, tax fraud, tax evasion, or false returns, get skilled legal help with your case from a Texas tax lawyer at the Scammahorn Law Firm, PC at 903-595-1000, with offices in Dallas and Tyler.</p> Tue, 10 Sep 2019 05:00:00 +0000