Catholic Priest Forgets the Commandment “Thou Shall Not Steal”

A Roman Catholic Priest form San Jose, CA, Hien Minh Nguyen was sentenced to 36 months in prison on charges of tax evasion and bank fraud.

From 2008 to 2011, Nguyen stole money that his parishioners donated to the Diocese of San Jose in the form of checks and cash.  Nguyen deposited the checks and cash to his personal account and used checks drawn from the church business account to pay his personal expenses.

It was shown in court that the amount of the embezzlement was over $1,449,000, which Nguyen failed to report on his income tax returns.

In addition to jail time, Nguyen has three years supervised release, and ordered to pay a total of $1,883,883 in restitution, which includes $434,518 to the IRS.

Owner of “Nick’s Famous Roast Beef” Gets Seared by the IRS

Indicted in 2015, Nicholas Koudanis, of Beverly, MA was sentenced this year for his conviction on one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States by obstructing the IRS and 10 counts of filing false tax returns. His wife, Eleni Koudanis, was also charged with five counts of filing false tax returns and his son, Steven Koudanis to one count of endeavoring to obstruct and impede an audit.

The family pled guilty to all charges.  From 2008 to 2013, it was found that they underreported their income by as much as $6 million during that period. Nicholas Koudanis skimmed more than $1million in cash receipts each year and did not report that income on either corporate or personal tax returns.

Son Steven Koudanis created false cash register receipts that were used during an IRS audit.

Nicholas Koudanis was sentenced to two years in prison, two years of supervised release and ordered to pay restitution of $2,042,366 to the IRS. Eleni Koudanis was sentenced to one year of probation and ordered to pay restitution in the same amount as her husband.  Son Steven was sentenced to one year probation to be served in home confinement and to pay restitution in the amount of $151,240.


Become a “Whistleblower” and Earn Big Bucks

In the largest state tax settlement in New York history, an unnamed whistleblower earned $8.8 million by reporting unpaid taxes of the Harbert Management Corporation.

The whistleblower filed a lawsuit which triggered an investigation by the state in which they found that Harbert Management hadn’t paid any state taxes from 2004 to 2009.  According to the attorneys for the whistleblower, the company earned “hundreds of millions of dollars in performance fees” through their hedge fund office based in Manhattan.  The firm did pay state income tax in Alabama, which is where the firm is but  Alabama’s state income tax has a much lower tax rate than New York. The State of New York reached a settlement agreement for Harbert to pay $40 million.

Harbert Management was run by Philip Falcone, who was barred from working in the securities industry for five years due to violations at his former hedge fund, is not liable to repay any of the money owed in the settlement as he was only considered an employee.

Man Gives the IRS the Finger…Literally!

Normand Lariviere, of Olympia, WA, was charged with mailing a threat to injure IRS workers in Ogden, UT after he sent a package containing a fake bomb.

Lariviere previously sent the IRS a package in 2016 containing one of his severed fingers, a bullet and a marijuana joint.

The threats stem from Lariviere being laid off from his job as a civilian defense contractor in the 1990’s.  Since that time he filed numerous grievances with federal agencies related to the Department of Defense, stating that he shouldn’t have to pay taxes because the government hadn’t satisfied his claims.

Can You Believe This? Former US Tax Court Judge Tries to Outsmart the IRS…and Fails!

Diane Kroupa, a former tax court judge, pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and her husband, Robert Fackler, also pled guilty to one count of obstructing an IRS audit.

According to court documents, between 2002 and 2012, in an effort to conceal their true income, the couple deducted numerous personal expenses as business expenses on their joint return.  Fackler, who owned Grassroots Consulting, deducted rent and utilities on the home in which Kroupa lived while working as a judge in Washington D.C.  In addition, they deducted spa and massage visits, Pilates classes, clothing and jewelry, wine club fees, renovations on their Plymouth home, and vacations to Alaska, the Bahamas, China, England, Greece, Hawaii, Mexico and Thailand. The amount of these deductions was over $500,000.

The couple kept documents from their tax preparer and an IRS auditor while undergoing an audit of their 2004 and 2005 returns.  During an audit of their 2012 returns, the couple falsified documents to convince the IRS auditor that their personal expenses were business related.  They also failed to report they had been reimbursed by Grassroots Consulting in the amount of $450,000 and profits from a sale of land in South Dakota, which resulted in their taxable income as being understated on their returns by approximately $1 million.  Kroupa and Fackler received sentences of 34 and 24 months in prison respectively.

Your IRS Questions Answered Here…

Question: I owe a lot in back taxes. I’m constantly getting threatening letters from the IRS. This has become a big problem that I have no idea how to solve.  Can you help me?

Answer:  For what it’s worth, take some comfort in knowing that you are not alone. There are millions of Americans in similar situations, dealing with debt hanging over their heads and concerned about how it will affect their future.

The good news: You have many options.  To fully understand and take advantage of your options, we urge you to see a qualified tax resolution professional. He or she will take a close look at your previous returns, looking for mistakes that may have resulted in an inflated tax debt amount.  This process alone can substantially lower your IRS debt.

Once you and your qualified tax professional have analyzed your previous returns, the next step is to negotiate a resolution with the IRS.  You will most likely be looking at one of two options – the Offer in Compromise or the Installment Agreement.

The Offer in Compromise was created for people who owe a substantial amount to the IRS but who, for whatever reason, are unable to pay their tax debt off, even over time. The Offer in Compromise allows taxpayers to negotiate a settlement amount that will take care of the entire tax debt once and for all. This settlement agreement can lower the tax debt by a significant amount.  If you do not qualify for the Offer in Compromise – and to do so you must be able to prove eligibility – then you may consider the Installment Agreement, which allows you to pay off your debt by making manageable monthly payments.

Tax Preparer Sentenced to 4 Years in Prison

Doris Kelly, a tax return preparer from Gulfport, MS was sentenced to prison for obstructing the Internal Revenue laws and preparing false tax returns. Kelly would instruct clients who owed money to the IRS to make the checks payable to her rather than the IRS.  She would keep the money for herself which she used to gamble at casinos.  Although she would provide copies of the returns to her clients, she did not file the return with the IRS.  While earning hundreds of thousands of dollars, the loss to the IRS was more than $500,000, which she has to pay back in restitution.

Fun Taxpayer Facts

*What Taxpayers Would Rather Be Doing Than Their Taxes:

77% — Laundry

47% — Cook Thanksgiving dinner for their in-laws

43% — Change dirty diapers

35% — Talk to their kids about sex

32% — Fold 100 fitted sheets

23% — Miss a connecting flight

13% — Spend the night in jail

8% — Break their arm

*What taxpayers would do for Never Having to do Taxes Again:

27% — Get an “IRS” Tattoo

16% — Move abroad

11% — Clean Chipotle toilets for three years

10% — Stop talking for 6 months

6% — Name first-born child “Taxes”

*Source: Deseret News

Happy Hour is Over for TGI Friday’s Business Manager

Lerma Aquino, the business manager of TGI Friday’s on Guam, was indicted for allegedly under-reporting employee’s tips and service charges and cheating the IRS of money owed to them.   It’s alleged that Aquino avoided paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in employment taxes.

Some of the examples in the indictment include:  In the fourth quarter of 2010, Aquino reported that her employees received approximately $30,800 in tips when they actually received over $167,000 in tips and service charges.  For the first quarter of 2011, the amount of reported tips received was $33,600 instead of the actual amount of $216,600.  And again in the second quarter of 2011, the correct amount of tips was $157,000 but reported as only $34,300.  In total, the underreporting caused a loss to the United States over $225,000.

Aquino allegedly directed her employees to report a flat $1-$2 an hour as tip income instead of the actual amount early.  She also either modified or refused to accept truthful tip reports.

Fraudulent Tax Return Scheme Involves Hiring Postal Carriers

Anthony Gosha, aka Boo Boo, of Phoenix City, Alabama, was arrested by federal agents in July 2017 on charges of filing fraudulent tax returns, conspiring to commit mail fraud, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.

The indictment alleges that Gosha stole over 7,000 ID’s and used those to file phony tax returns with refunds totaling over $19 million.

Some of the ID’s were stolen from an Alabama state agency, and Gosha also used Electronic Filing Identification Numbers in the name of a fake tax prep business in which they used to file the returns.

On those returns, they instructed the IRS to either issue prepaid debit cards or U.S. Treasury checks.  Gosha recruited several postal carriers to provide addresses on their mail routes to which the refund checks could be sent.  The checks were then cashed at various check cashing businesses in Alabama and Georgia.

If convicted on all charges, Gosha faces up to a maximum of 30 years in prison plus a minimum of 2 years for each count of identity theft, supervised release, restitution, forfeiture and monetary penalties.