A couple who has a history of running into controversy with the IRS is now facing criminal allegations of tax evasion and conspiracy to defraud the government. Both the couple and the attorney are facing years in prison.
The IRS also says that the couple owes over $1 million to the IRS, in part because of penalties and interest. Those accused have denied the allegations and are awaiting a trial.
The allegations involve $1.1 million in proceeds from a lawsuit which the couple won after the husband’s company resolved some patent litigation. Oftentimes, proceeds from a lawsuit are taxable income.
According to the government, rather than paying what was owed, the couple instead converted the cash to gold coins, the latter of which they used to barter in order to cover the cost of real estate purchases and other expenses and investments.
The IRS also says that an attorney involved with the family allowed the couple to deposit funds in his trust account. He then used these funds to pay the family’s personal expenses. Typically, trust accounts are used to cover attorney fees and the costs of litigation. As a result of his alleged role in this case, the attorney is also facing federal criminal tax litigation.
Presumably, those accused will have the opportunity to tell their side of this story at their upcoming trial. Suffice it to say that, oftentimes, government agents can be quick to assume the worst about transactions that, in reality, were legitimate tax avoidance strategies or, at the very most, were honest but ill-conceived plans to save tax dollars.
There is little doubt that these people, even though one is an attorney himself, will need the help of an experienced tax counsel who is prepared to confront the government’s case and stand up for the rights of his clients.