A Pinch of Fraud, and a Pound of Evasion

I haven’t done a megapost with a bunch of tax schemers in some time. So before I head off to dinner, here’s some fraud and evasion to munch on.

Lots of people have been filing false tax returns lately. The IRS doesn’t appreciate it. These individuals worked for a shoe retailer, and allegedly came up with a nice way to make extra money: submit 107 false tax returns totaling about $250,000 in refunds. They apparently needed the money quickly, as they used Refund Anticipation Loans to instantly get their money. They’re looking at spending a few years at ClubFed.

Meanwhile, the Department of Justice has asked that a court issue an injunction barring a Georgia tax preparer from preparing tax returns and from selling “tax schemes.” As this press release notes, Victor Carlysle Sullivan, Jr., of Albany, Georgia is accused of bilking the US out of around $5 million.

Last year I reported on nursing home operator Jack Easterday. He was convicted on 47 counts of tax evasion. What I didn’t know was that his conviction was tossed out due to a faulty jury instruction. He’s going to be retried in March. The IRS has added 62 new charges to his trial; he’s now accused of not paying over $10 million in payroll taxes he collected from his employees. He’s looking at a substantial stay at ClubFed if found guilty.

A Newberg, Oregon man made lots of money selling mail-order divorces. He “forgot” to claim them on his tax return. The IRS didn’t forget to catch up to him. William Cleveland Thompson pleaded guilty to evading taxes from 1993 to 1995 (he last filed a tax return in 1992). As this story notes, he’ll be visiting ClubFed.

I again ask, what is it about strip clubs that attract tax cheats to them? Maybe it’s that the businesses have lots of cash, and the owners wonder what will happen if they just don’t report it. Well, that’s allegedly what the owners of Dangerous Curves in the Tacony section of Philadelphia did. Their accountant prepared false tax returns enabling them to get loans. Then, an investigation of a councilman (now imprisoned) put the focus on their club. To top it off, some of the employees said that they were paid in cash (a total of about $1.4 million) that wasn’t reported to the IRS. All involved are looking at three years at ClubFed plus restitution if convicted. You can read more here.

Remember Charles Lanza, of Wolcoot, CT? He had a new take on “Bowling for Dollars,”—”Skimming for Dollars” as I earlier reported. He lucked out though, and was sentenced to just six months in prison (sentencing guidelines indicated he should receive about three years) due to poor health.

Finally, remember the Florida evangelist who had the dinosaur theme park? Kent Hovind, aka “Dr. Dino,” will enjoy ten years at ClubFed. As this story notes, Hovind believes that dinosaurs and humans walked the earth together but didn’t believe you had to send employment taxes to the government. As the judge sentencing Hovind noted, “[he refused] to accept what the law is.” He’ll have plenty of time to pray about it. His wife will be sentenced in March.

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