A federal grand jury issued a 34-count indictment against a Louisiana couple, Denis and Donna Joachim and their company, The Total Financial Group, Inc. In addition to 14 counts of aiding or assisting in the preparation of false statements on federal income tax returns, one count of conspiracy to defraud the IRS, the remaining charges ranged from wire fraud to money laundering.
Court records indicate that the couple operated a fraudulent medical reimbursement program that resulted in a $40 million loss to the IRS and participants in the program. The program was marketed to employers as a supplemental benefits plan for their employees to reimburse them for medical expenses such as co-pays and deductibles. Total Financial charged employees a fee of between $150 and $250 per month and the employer a fee of 5% of each employee’s contribution amount.
The company never obtained an insurance policy as promised, and Total Financial took in $21 million in fees, spent on luxury cars and homes.
Besides facing up to 261 years in prison, the IRS has seized more than $6 million of assets to date.