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Two Decades' Old Income Tax Debt Leads To Hefty Fine, Prison Sentence

A dispute involving the taxes owed on 1993 income led to a criminal conviction and sentencing last week. A 63-year-old Florida man was sentenced to 1 year in federal prison and fined $4.3 million dollars for tax evasion after he entered a guilty plea. The case stems from a tax bill of $889,520 levied by the IRS in 2001. The man did not pay the bill over the next 10 years and took steps to frustrate attempts by the Internal Revenue Service to collect the money through levies on his income and liens taken against property in Florida and Tennessee. Interest and penalties turned the debt into the $4.3 million he was eventually fined.

An official statement released by the IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge for the Tampa Field Office declared that "the IRS and Department of Justice through the United States Attorney's Office, remain determined and vigilant in ferreting out such schemes to cheat the honest taxpayers." The statement also cited the "magnitude" of the crime and the "degree of trickery, dishonesty and deceit" involved.

The IRS and Department of Justice have enormous resources at their disposal. Those accused of tax fraud, tax evasion and other tax crimes are facing experienced and determined investigators and prosecutors with an almost unlimited budget at their disposal. Anyone accused of a tax crime should strongly consider hiring an experienced federal white collar crime lawyer as soon as possible.

Source: Orlando Sentinel, "Man gets 1 year in federal prison for $4 million tax evasion," by Desiree Stennett, 30 August 2012

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