Rabbi convicted for tax evasion

It seems that just about anyone can get into tax trouble, including religious leaders. Late this July, a prominent Rabbi involved in a number of charitable organizations was convicted on charges of tax evasion.

As it turns out, many of the charitable endeavors operated by the Rabbi were actually ghost entities. In a guilty plea, the Rabbi admitted to funneling the money donated to these organizations into his own pockets.

And while the scheme was ongoing, the Rabbi failed to report the income he was deriving from it on his tax returns. This led to a felony criminal conviction for tax evasion and a sentence of five years’ probation, time during which the Rabbi is prohibited from conducting any type of charitable fundraising activities.

In addition to the probation, the Rabbi had to pay $90,685 to the state for restitution. Under a separate civil judgment related to the fraudulent fundraising, the Rabbi and his wife are required to pay an additional $522,315.

This case goes to show that even a man of God can get into trouble with tax evasion. All things considered though, the Rabbi in this case got off relatively easy considering that it was a felony level criminal tax matter. Sometimes, by retaining the right legal counsel and being strategically cooperative, you can minimize the impact of a tax evasion prosecution.

If you are being accused of tax evasion or have any other tax issue, an experienced tax attorney can assess your situation and recommend a prudent course of action.

Source: Failed Messiah, "Haredi Rabbi Guilty Of Tax Evasion, Charities Fraud," July 23, 2014

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