They Walked A Crooked Mile

It may be the Jewish New Year (La Shana Tovah for those celebrating), but the tax cheats have been busy over the past few days. We have articles from the East Coast to the West Coast and from Europe.

First, from Providence, Rhode Island comes yet another untrustworthy sole. Eric Messier had been advising the gullible that by creating a “corporation sole” they can avoid taxes. There’s no such thing as a corporation sole. He was collecting between $2,500 and $10,000 per soul. (Story here)

Apparently there’s something in the water in the Ocean State. This story from the Providence Journal is about Edward Dacey. Mr. Dacey was convicted of not reporting $122,000 earned by marketing a “debt elimination scheme” that, like the corporation sole, isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on. Mr. Dacey won’t have to visit Club Fed; instead, he’ll serve five months of home confinement and two years probation.

Closer to home, the Los Angeles Times reported on four tax preparers from nearby Rialto who were inventive. They invented phony deductions, falsified documents for audits, and didn’t report about $1.5 million in income from this fraud that impacted over 11,000 clients.

Meanwhile, we go overseas. Holger Geschwindner of Hof, Germany was a “benefactor and supporter” of NBA star Dirk Nowitzki. The German tax authorities allege that Geschwindner earned “substantial amounts” but didn’t pay any taxes on that, according to this story from Deutsche Presse Agentur. Tax evasion is a crime in Deutschland, too.

An Amarillo doctor will be visiting Club Fed. Stephen Miller was sentenced this past week to 46 months and ordered to pay $970,000 in restitution for attempting to use sham LLCs and sham trusts to avoid taxes. The money was supposed to end up in the Channel Islands.

A Connecticut doctor pleaded guilty to tax evasion, structuring, and health care fraud. Steven Herman skimmed about $870,000 from his business, and then either purchased $700 money orders himself or had household employees do so. He did this over 80 times in order to avoid federal bank transaction laws (and when you do this to avoid those laws, you’re guilty of the crime of “structuring,” which is a felony). Adding insult to injury, he also committed health care fraud by billing elective procedures as “medically necessary.” As this story notes, Mr. Herman faces up to 25 years in prison, must pay back taxes of $374,810 plus penalties and interest, forfeit $236,117 (the amount of the structuring), and reimburse the health insurance company $150,000. It would have been much cheaper to have paid the taxes in the first place. Of course, that’s the case for almost everyone who commits tax evasion.

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