Pediatric Office Manager Finds Out the IRS Isn’t Kidding Around

Terra Ferguson, from New London, NC, was sentenced to 14 months in prison after pleading guilty to one count of failing to collect, account, or pay for payroll taxes.

Court documents indicate that from 1992 through September 2016, Ferguson, was employed as the office manager at a pediatric office, where she had complete control over the office’s finances.  Part of Ferguson’s responsibilities included collecting, accounting for, and paying over to the IRS the payroll taxes which were deducted from the employee’s wages.

From March 2011 through September 2016, Ferguson withheld approximately $78,937 in payroll taxes and an additional $35,472 for the employer’s share of employment taxes that should have been turned over to the IRS.  Instead, Ferguson used the money to pay her personal credit cards, funded personal business ventures involving a mountain cabin rental and bar, paid for personal vacations and issued checks to herself in the amount of $1.4 million, all from the business’ bank accounts.

In addition to jail time, Ferguson will serve three years of supervised release and pay restitution in the amount of $374,101.

Tax Preparer’s Info Goes Up in Smoke

The owner of a tax preparation service, Andrivia Wells, was indicted on charges of aiding and assisting in the preparation of fraudulent tax returns for her clients, filing false tax returns for herself from 2013 to 2017, failing to file a 2018 tax return and obstructing a criminal investigation by the IRS.

Wells owned and operated Rush Tax Services which had several locations in Charlotte, NC.  It’s alleged that between 2013 and 2017, the company prepared more than 6,000 taxes returns, often claiming false filing statuses, false education credits, false Schedule C businesses and false fuel tax credits to inflate the taxpayers refunds. The tax preparation fees were taken directly from the client’s tax refunds and in many cases, the taxpayer was unaware of the fees which were frequently over $500.  Rush Tax Services earned over $1.2 million during that time.

On the day that Wells was notified that she was the subject of a criminal investigation after being served a summons, a fire was intentionally set at one of the locations which destroyed client files, financial records and computer hardware.

Each count of aiding and assisting of the filing of a false tax return carries a maximum prison sentence of three years, failure to file carries a maximum sentence of one year, and the statutory sentence for destroying records is a maximum of no more than 20 years in prison.

A trial date is pending.

The IRS Exercises it’s Right to File Lien on Former Fitness Guru

Richard Simmons known for his, “Sweating to the Oldies” workout videos, and has been hiding out in his home for the past 5 years, has tax liens on his business and property for $24,000.  The IRS claims that Simmons owes this money for years of back taxes between 2007-2015.

Simmons disappearance years ago prompted his friends to contact the LAPD to perform a welfare check.  In 2013, the police did make contact with Simmons who said he simply wanted to take a break from public life.  His status was such a mystery to some that there was a podcast series called, “Missing Richard Simmons” about his whereabouts.

The Stars of “Chrisley Knows Best” Reality Series Prove—They Really Don’t

Todd and Julie Chrisley, the stars of the USA Network reality show, “Chrisley Knows Best”, and their accountant, Peter Tarantino, were indicted in August 2019 on 12 counts of tax evasion and bank and wire fraud conspiracy.

According to the indictment, the couple failed to timely file federal tax returns or pay income taxes for the period from 2013 through 2016. In addition, the charges include defrauding a number of banks by obtaining millions of dollars in loans using false information provided to the lending institutions, including inflated account balances, false invoices and audit paperwork.

Todd Chrisley blames a disgruntled former employee, who the couple says was stealing from the family, forging their signature and bugging their home, in an act of retaliation after he was fired.  Chrisley claims that the employee not only was stealing from the family but, “Took a bunch of his phony documents to the U.S. Attorney’s office and told them we had committed all kinds of financial crimes, like tax evasion and bank fraud.”  Chrisley went on to explain that, “We have nothing to hide and have done nothing to be ashamed of.”   He says he has a lot of evidence to prove he and his wife Julie are innocent.

IRS Terror Tale of the Month: Tax Fraud Land “Aunt Becky” in the Big House

Earlier this year, the FBI uncovered a massive, nationwide college entrance admission scandal, where wealthy parents paid a man named William “Rick” Singer to get their children into top-ranked universities, such as Georgetown, Stanford, UCLA, and Yale.

The Scandal made headlines across the country, both due to the audacity of the crimes and the high-profile names associated with them. A few celebrities were revealed to have used Singer’s services, including Lori Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, allegedly paid Singer a bribe of $500,000 to ensure their daughters were accepted to the University of Southern California.

Singer’s service included faking admissions scores, bribing coaches, and passing students off as athletes. To cover up these illicit activities, payments to Singer were disguised as charitable contributions to the nonprofit Key Worldwide Foundation (KWF). While KWF was registered with the IRS as a legitimate nonprofit, it’s clear now that all donations and grants through the organization were part of this scheme. Adding insult to injury, many parents who used Singer’s services deducted their “donations” to KWF from their federal income taxes, committing tax fraud.

Besides cheating to get their daughters into USC, Loughlin and Giannulli opted to follow in the footsteps of other wealthy parents and deduct the bribe as a charitable contribution. Now, in addition to facing 40-year old prison sentences for their alleged involvement in the admissions scandal, the couple is also being audited by the IRS. Reports claim that they will be audited for five years on their personal income taxes and that Giannulli’s business will be audited for three years.

Loughlin and Giannulli pleaded not guilty to charges of fraud and money laundering after rejecting a plea deal. It’s up to the court and a jury to decide their fate with those charges, but even if they are found innocent, it won’t get them off the hook with the IRS. When it comes to tax fraud, the IRS always wants the money that’s due, and they have no problem sending people to jail for cheating on their taxes. Aunt Becky might go from a Full House to the Big House.

The Roz Report September/October 2019

Your IRS Questions Answered Here…

Question: I owe $55,000+ in back taxes but I think I can handle this myself.  Is there any reason why I shouldn’t deal with the IRS on my own?

Answer:  One of the worst things you can do is talk to the IRS directly without proper representation. Would you go to court without a lawyer? You are guilty until proven innocent when it comes to dealing with the IRS. The IRS is not on your side and their primary goal is to aggressively collect money they think is theirs.

However, you do have rights as a taxpayer. One of those rights is the right to representation. If an IRS revenue officer or revenue agent shows up at your front door, will you know what to say or do? The IRS will ask you a series of very intrusive, intimidating questions in the initial interview with them, and how you answer these questions will dictate the fate of your case. Half of the referrals to the IRS’s criminal investigation division come from that “nice” revenue officer you’re having a conversation with.

Attorney who is also a tax resolution specialist can conduct these meetings on your behalf.  They know how to navigate the IRS maze because they do this for a living, day-in, day-out.  They know the “ins” and “outs” and know how to deal with the IRS so your rights are protected.  A tax resolution specialist also knows how to protect your income and assets from levy’s and seizures and get you the lowest possible settlement allowed by law.

Taxes by Stephen Taylor

I got my paycheck

Half was almost gone

I bought a tank of gas

What’s going on?

I bought a load of bread

This can’t be for real

I pay the toll man

What is the deal?

I got a license

Here we go again

I live on my land

I’ll pay the man

When I die

Will I pay taxes still?

You better believe it

Out of your will

Crazy Tax Deductions Denied!

“Alternative” medical expenses:  A New York lawyer tried to write off over $110,000 he spent on prostitutes, claiming they were part of his medical treatment for osteoarthritis.  No, said the IRS, on the basis of prostitution being illegal in his state of New York.  Worth noting is that while the IRS from upon deducting (as a medical expense), the fees charged illegally by prostitutes, the IRS requires the prostitutes to pay taxes on the fees they earn.

Feeding and dressing your model child: A photographer tried to deduct the costs of feeding and clothing her child, claiming it as a business expense because she sometimes used her child as a model in her business.  The IRS said no, allowing the photographer to deduct only the price of outfits the child wore in photographs for which the photographer was paid.

Too much fun to be deductible:  A farmer wanted to deduct the cost of his ATV, claiming that he used it to “check the fence lines” on his property.  His accountant felt like the off-roading seemed a little too fun to not raise red flags with the IRS, which it did.  Deduction denied.

Source:  Reader’s Digest

Waco, Texas Tax Preparer Tries Wacko Scheme

Tax preparer, Janell Lighter, from Waco, TX  pled guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States in federal court.

In the indictment and information presented at the hearing it revealed Lighter assisted her co-defendant Stacey Anderson in preparing and filing false tax returns.  Anderson operated her business out of her home in Waco. In 2013 and 2014, the payer filed returns that claimed false business items and/or education tax credits in order to fraudulently increase their client’s tax refunds from the IRS.  Lightner and Anderson prepared returns for clients in Texas, Maryland and the District of Columbia.  The tax loss caused by Lightner to the IRS is estimated at over $1.3 million.

In June, 2019, Anderson also pled guilty to the conspiracy charge along with filing a false personal income tax return in 2014.  Anderson admitted that her actions caused a loss of over $10 million to the IRS.

Both defendants face a maximum penalty of five years in prison for the conspiracy charge, as well as a period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties.  Both are due to be sentenced at the end of the year.

Tax Defier Might Be Protesting from Prison

Lawrence Martin Birk, from Colorado, was convicted of tax evasion by a federal jury in Denver, CO after a one-week trial.

Birk was the sole owner of Tarryall River Log Homes, LLC, and considered himself a tax defier.  For more than 20 years, Birk didn’t pay federal income taxes.  It wasn’t until the IRS started collection efforts, including visiting Birk at his home, that he hired a firm to prepare 8 years of back taxes.  Birk was not honest with the firm and omitted $400,000 of retirement income distributions that he funneled through a sham company.  Even after filing these returns, Birk refused to pay what was owed.  He sent the IRS threatening letters using frivolous tax arguments from known tax defier organizations such as the “We the People” foundation and the “Tax Honesty” movement.

The IRS took steps to seize the money from Birk’s bank accounts, and after he was notified about the pending seizure, he purchased cashier’s checks to reduce his balance and impede the IRS’ ability to collect.  Birk’s outstanding tax liabilities, including taxes, penalties and interest were over $2 million for the years 1998 to 2005.  He has not filed tax returns or made any tax payments since 2006.  Sentencing is pending.