True Lies and the IRS Agent Who Told Them

Jennifer True, who was employed by the IRS for 22 years as a Lead Contact Representative, pleaded guilty to the preparation of at least 70 false tax returns while an employee of the United States.

True filed more than 500 tax returns for herself and others and admitted to falsifying items such as individual retirement accounts, medical expenses, unreimbursed business expenses and/or tax preparation fees. The IRS prohibits employees from “Engaging in the preparation of tax returns for compensation, gift or favor.”

True faces up to eight years in prison and $500,000 in restitution.

Grass Isn’t Greener on the Other Side for this Couple

Dick Brocato and his wife Judith, owners of Superior Lawn Service in Beaumont Texas, have each been sentenced to 33 months in prison after a jury found them guilty of conspiracy to defraud the United States for purposes of impeding the government functions of the IRS, and six counts of making and submitting false tax returns.

The Brocatos who started their business in 1981, grew it to include eight full-time teams of lawn care specialists. The couple under reported their income by $503,281 in 2012, $687,534 in 2013 and $513,498 in 2014. To facilitate their scheme, the Brocatos cashed numerous checks from customers instead of depositing them into the company’s accounts, then failed to report the cash on their tax returns.

The Brocato’s son, Brandon, is listed as an employee of the company but has not been charged with a crime. In addition to the prison sentence the Brocatos were ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $617,762 to the IRS and fines of $15,000 each.

Your IRS Questions Answered Here…

Question: I received a Notice of Federal Tax Lien via certified mail for unpaid taxes and I’m scared and don’t know what to do. How do I get this situation resolved?

Answer: A Notice of Federal Tax Lien (NFTL) is public record and is generally filed with the County Recorder where you reside.  It’s a formal notice to all your creditors that the IRS has a secured interest in your real and personal property. A federal tax lien is usually the “kiss of death” however, there are 4 ways to resolve a federal tax lien – You can request a Lien Subordination, a Lien Discharge, a Lien Release, or a Withdrawal of a federal tax lien.

A federal tax lien will make it very difficult, if not impossible, for you to purchase or sell a home, vehicle and other property on credit.  It may also prevent you from accessing the equity in real property you may have built up over the years.  However, the IRS has several different options that deal with resolving a NFTL if you qualify.   One of these is to apply for a Withdrawal of the lien.  Winning a Withdrawal of a NFTL is as if it never happened in the first place! The IRS will consider this if the Lien was filed prematurely or was not in accordance with IRS procedures, which happens a lot!  The good news is that you generally won’t have to meet or even speak with the IRS while we’re retained.  It’s important to consult with a tax professional to see what Lien relief programs you may be eligible for before the IRS starts seizing your property. We can help protect what you already own and preserve your rights!!

Temp Agency Owner In Line for Job in the Slammer

The owner of a temporary employment agency, Louis DeMaio, pleaded guilty to tax evasion and obstruction offenses for schemes dating back to 2010.

DeMaio’s company, Almatt, provided day laborers to construction companies and paid the laborers directly. Payroll deductions were taken from the employees checks but the withholdings were never paid over to the IRS. From 2010 to 2018 DeMaio never filed income tax returns or quarterly 941 forms for the business.

During that time DeMaio issued checks for more than 2.5 million dollars to himself and to family members who did not work at his business,  and he failed to report any of the money as income.

The tax loss to the IRS as a result of DeMaio’s conduct is $1,132,398. He has agreed to pay full restitution, as well as interest and penalties.

DeMaio faces up to eight years in prison.

Federal Agent Cleans Up Stealing Cash Found in Laundry Detergent Boxes

Tyrone Cedric Duren, a former Homeland Security agent specializing in the investigation of bulk cash smuggling, was sentenced to 130 months in prison for money laundering, making false statements and tax evasion.

 

While working as a federal agent Duren stole money from people smuggling drug proceeds to Mexico and deposited the cash into his personal and business bank accounts. In several instances Duren placed GPS trackers on vehicles used to transport proceeds from drug sales and then took a portion of the drug money after it was seized. He spent the stolen money on real estate and international travel.

 

One example used in court was an incident in 2014 when Duren was tracking a car he suspected was loaded with cash. The car was stopped at a border patrol checkpoint where they found the cash concealed in laundry detergent boxes. Duren took custody of the seized cash but before putting it into evidence he took more than $100,000 for himself.

 

Duren failed to file taxes for several years, and when he did, he did not claim any of the stolen cash as income. In addition to the jail term the court ordered the forfeiture of Duren’s primary residence, a judgment of $275,000 and restitution to the IRS.

He Needed More Bread Now He’s Toast

Peter Jamgochian, the co-owner of a commercial cleaning company in New Jersey, admitted to evading more than $300,000 in tax payments by cashing checks at a check cashing facility, paying employees off the books, and failing to report all his income.

 

In 2013 and 2014 Jamgochian cashed over two million dollars in check payments made by customers and used the cash to pay employees and for his personal expenses. He kept this information from the company’s accountant and knowingly signed false corporate returns.

 

Jamgochian’s actions caused the company to underpay $248,936 in medicare and social security taxes, and he caused the IRS an additional tax loss of $76,201 by understating his personal income. He faces a maximum prison sentence of three years and $250,000 in fines.

They Built a Mini Empire that The IRS Toppled Like a Ton of Bricks

An IRS criminal investigation in New York uncovered a bribery scheme involving more than five million dollars paid to four construction executives between 2011 and 2017 – and not a one legitimate tax return among them.

 

Two of the defendants worked for Bloomberg, a global financial firm involved in construction projects, while the other two were executives for a contractor that did work for Bloomberg. The four received kickbacks in exchange for lucrative contracts and failed to report any of the income on their tax returns.

 

One defendant, Michael Campana, was sentenced to 24 months in prison for evading taxes on more than $420,000 he received in bribes in the form of cash and direct payments for personal items, including charges incurred for his wedding – $40,000 paid to a catering hall, $13,000 to a photographer and $23,000 to a travel agent for his honeymoon. He has been ordered to pay $155,000 in restitution.

 

Anthony Guzzone took more than 1.4 million dollars in bribes. He received cash, construction labor and materials for work on his personal home, and Super Bowl tickets worth almost $8000. Vito Nigro and Ronald Olson have been charged with taking bribes and evading taxes on more than 1.8 and 1.5 million dollars, respectively. Sentencing for the three men is scheduled for later this year.

Maximum Refund Guarantee Gets Tax Preparer Jail Time Guaranteed

Elizabeth Muñoz, a tax preparer from Portland Oregon, has been charged with preparing and filing more than 1,000 false federal tax returns requesting over three million dollars in fraudulent refunds.

From 2015 to 2018 Muñoz ran a tax preparation business that promised her clients the, “biggest refund guaranteed.” She prepared 1,196 false tax returns for 629 clients and claimed tax credits her clients were not eligible for.

If convicted, Muñoz faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison, three years of supervised release and 6.2 million dollars in fines.

Facing 66 Years – Say “Cheese” For Your Mug Shot

The owners of the Tony Luke’s cheesesteak franchise headquartered in Philadelphia have been charged with conspiracy to defraud the IRS, tax evasion and aiding and assisting in filing false tax returns.

The indictment claims that from 2006 to 2016 Anthony Lucidonio Sr., 82 and his son Nicholas, 52, hid more than eight million dollars in receipts from the IRS. The pair deposited only a portion of their income into business bank accounts and filed false business and personal tax returns that substantially understated their income. The Lucidonios allegedly gave their accountant a second set of numbers to prepare their corporate and personal tax returns.

Failing to report the eight million dollars is only the beginning. The Lucidonios also committed employment tax fraud by paying their employees a portion of their salaries “on the books” and a portion “off the books” in cash. In 2014 and 2015 the pair allegedly filed false quarterly employment tax returns that significantly understated wages paid and taxes due. In another scheme they paid employees with checks that they then asked them to sign over to the company, in exchange for envelopes filled with cash.

The father and son face a maximum sentence of 66 years in prison, a period of supervised release, restitution and penalties.

Your IRS Questions Answered Here…

Question: I own a small business and we had to shut down due to the Pandemic and in order to keep afloat, I did not send the IRS my employee’s withholding (941) taxes for a few quarters.  How much trouble am I in?

Answer: Owing 941 payroll taxes is very different from owing personal income taxes.  Not only can the IRS padlock the doors to your business, they can come after you personally, levy your bank accounts, confiscate your receivables and seize your property.  Scarier still is that it could turn into a criminal matter.  Why? Because the money has already been deducted from your employee’s payroll checks; so it’s not your money to begin with! The IRS will look at it as if you stole their money.  Payroll tax delinquency is the IRS’s number one enforcement priority.

You need to get help from an experienced professional who deals with the IRS every day.  The IRS and SBA have implemented special programs for business owners who have fallen behind on their payroll tax obligations. We can assess your situation and figure out the best way to protect you and will take over all dealings with the IRS so you don’t have to.  Don’t let them take everything you’ve worked so hard for; call us today!

 


At McCauley Law Offices, P.C., our lawyers will find a solution to your tax problems, no matter how complex your IRS issue is. View our services and contact us (or call 610-388-4474) to schedule a free consultation with one of our tax attorneys. View and purchase Gregory McCauley’s published work “TAXJAMS: Simple Solutions” on Amazon. From our office in Chester County, Pennsylvania, we find tax solutions for clients throughout the country.