Lawyer who pleaded guilty to tax evasion expects short probation

Not all criminal investigations by the Internal Revenue Service wind up in criminal prosecution. The processes that the IRS follows for pursuing the case can involve many twists and turns. All of that can take time and each step may provide opportunities for limiting exposure to prosecutorial action. An experienced tax attorney's help can be crucial in protecting your interests.

The benefit of getting experienced counsel early on in the process may be evident in a case of that recently made some news. The alleged tax evasion didn't happen in Washington, but could have easily, so we think it merits attention here.

The case is actually out of Florida and the defendant in the matter happens to be rather high profile. Not only is he a noted criminal defense attorney in the state, but he also has a reputation as a pillar of the community, having served on various health-related boards and governor-appointed commissions.

According to the court documents associated with his case, federal officials accused him of underreporting his income for 2006 and 2007. The allegation made was that the underreporting was an attempt on the defendant's part to block the IRS from determining his true liability in taxes.

Each count could have carried a prison term of up to one year, but late last month the defendant pleaded guilty to misdemeanor tax evasion charges and received a sentence of 12 months of probation. He was also ordered to pay nearly $79,000 in restitution to the government.

In recent comments to a reporter, the man noted that the misdemeanor charges reflect that the alleged offenses occurred some seven years ago and that he had cooperated fully with the government to resolve the matter once he became aware of issues. He says the money he owes has already been paid and he expects his probation to be terminated soon.

He reportedly still faces an inquiry by the state's bar association.

Source: CPA Practice Advisor, "Florida Lawyer Guilty of Filing False Tax Returns," David Ovalle, The Miami Herald, Dec. 29, 2013

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