Undercover Agents Catch Tax Evasion & Fraud in Sting – Los Angeles Income Tax Planning & Income Tax Litigation Attorney Bruce Givner

by Bruce Givner on August 26, 2014

On July 11, a Caribbean-based lawyer, Patrick Poulin, pleaded guilty in a US District Court to helping launder what he knew to be “dirty money” in a sting operation conducted by undercover agents. Poulin was told that the $2 million he later tried to hide from US tax officials were the proceeds of a bank fraud.

Earlier in June, two investment advisers had admitted to conspiring to launder monetary instruments after agreeing to help what turned out to be undercover agents posing as US clients hide the source and ownership of $2 million. According to Dana Boente, the US attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, “These three defendants played a shell game by creating offshore entities designed to help their US clients evade taxes.”

These arrests have come amidst an ongoing crackdown by US officials on offshore tax evasion. So far, more than 45,000 Americans have avoided prosecution by disclosing their offshore accounts to the Internal Revenue Service and paying back taxes, fines, and penalties which total roughly $6.5 billion.

Key Takeaway: The IRS is actively using undercover agents to conduct sting operations in the city of Los Angeles (among other places) and trying to catch taxpayers and tax professionals engaged in illegal activities. Therefore, taxpayers and tax professionals both must take care to be on their best behavior at all times. The person to whom you are speaking may well be an agent with the Criminal Investigation Division of the IRS, or someone working for the US Department of Justice.

Acts such as trying to “back date” documents, even such innocent-seeming items as corporate minutes, must be avoided at all costs. Similarly, once an audit has begun, do not create new documents. Both activities can be viewed as an obstruction with the “due administration of the Internal Revenue Laws” and, therefore, a crime under Internal Revenue Code Section 7212(a). The penalty is three years in jail.

Givner & Kaye focuses on sophisticated income tax planning and compliance, tax litigation and procedure, estate planning, and asset protection plans for individuals and businesses in Beverly Hills, Calabasas, West Los Angeles, Hollywood, and other areas of Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, San Bernardino, Riverside and Santa Barbara Counties. Call Los Angeles Estate Planning and Asset Protection Plan Attorneys Givner & Kaye at (310) 207-8008 today.

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