Criminal Tax Roundup 2014 – Northern District of California

Wow. This may have been a record year for Criminal Tax Prosecutions in Northern California. Taking a look at the cases prosecuted this year, it appears that Northern California’s criminal tax prosecutions were greater in number than any other district. Of course, we only have access to the filed cases at this time, the reports as to how many individuals/businesses investigated but not prosecuted will be out mid-2015. We were able to secure a few non-prosecution agreements in 2014, but from the looks of things, the US Attorneys in Northern California are dominating criminal tax cases and the charges and sentences are increasing in number and length.

Last year (2013) the top-ranked tax crime charges nationwide were:

tax perjury, tax evasion, converting public money, conspiracy, false claims, conspiracy to defraud by false claims, money laundering, mail fraud, fraud and related activity regarding identity, and structuring.

So far in 2014, there haven’t been a lot of surprises. The Northern District prosecuted criminal tax cases involving:

False tax returns, Failing to file FBARs, Preparation of false tax returns, Conspiracy to file false claims, Wire Fraud, Aggravated identity theft, Conspiracy to defraud the United States, and more.

Interestingly, sentences handed down are on the lengthier side of what we have seen in the recent past:

Aiding and assisting in the preparation of false tax returns (21 year fugitive found through Facebook) sentenced to 21 months

Tax evasion; sentenced to 30 months

Aggravated identity theft and preparation of hundreds of false income tax returns; sentenced to 30 months, and,

Failure to file tax returns, sentenced to 12 months

Many of the individuals prosecuted were tax preparers themselves, attorneys, and restaurant owners.

For more information, contact Moskowitz, LLP.