Tax Evasion

Accountants Behaving Badly: Alyssa Milano Lawsuit Settled, Money Laundering, Revenge=Jail Time

Here are some accountants who were up to no good last week. Alyssa Milano settles $10 million suit with former accountant [Variety] Actress Alyssa Milano has settled a legal battle with her former accountant Kenneth Hellie as the case was about to go to trial. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed. Milano and her husband, agent […]

Accountants Behaving Badly: Lots of Theft, Ponzi Scheme, Tax Evasion

Here’s a roundup of some bad stuff accountants did or were accused of doing over the past week or so. Auto shop accountant charged with stealing over $175K from employer [Chicago Sun-Times] Rungnapa Correia is accused of stealing more than $175,000 from a Bensenville, IL, auto repair shop she used to work at as an […]

Michael Cohen Pleads Guilty to Five Counts of Tax Evasion; Jury Finds Paul Manafort Guilty of Tax Fraud

We here at Going Concern have always (well, except from May 17, 2018 to July 24, 2018) given you an outlet to comment on the big news of the day. Well, two pretty big news stories broke at the same time earlier this afternoon that do not bode well for our commander-in-chief. First, in a […]

It Appears Some Boeing Employees Had a Little ‘Let’s Not Pay South Carolina Taxes’ Club

It's not clear whether or not these people were in cahoots or not but the Palmetto State Department of Revenue did arrest 11 Boeing employees yesterday for tax evasion: The South Carolina Department of Revenue has arrested 11 Boeing employees Monday for tax evasion. The Department of Revenue reports that 11 individuals have been accused […]

Accountant Suffers Bumpy Landing at Sentencing

During his sentencing for a slew of crimes related to his role in a tax-evasion scheme, accountant William Frio, "lost his footing and hit his head on the defense table." The judge dropped a 5-year prison trip on Frio and ordered him to pay $1.7 million in restitution for his misstep. [Philly.com]

Ex-Crazy Eddie CFO Now Judging Fellow Criminals on Their Criminal Talents or Lack Thereof

If there's anyone who knows about being a criminal, it's former Crazy Eddie CFO Sam Antar because he is one. Perhaps that's why CNBC recruited him to judge fellow criminals' performance much like Michelle Visage judging drag queens on their cakes and tucks (don't Google that). First, the background on the scam up for judging: […]

U.S. Attorneys are DTF Jersey Shore’s The Situation for Tax Evasion

Television personality Michael “The Situation” Sorrentino and his brother Marc Sorrentino are expected to appear in federal court this afternoon to face an indictment alleging they did not properly pay taxes on $8.9 million in income Michael Sorrentino received from promotional activities, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced. Michael Sorrentino and his brother Marc Sorrentino […]

Keep Your Pants On: D&G Probably Won’t Spend Time in Jail for Tax Evasion

As all we know, when Italian men want to protest the injustice of taxes, they proudly drop trou. And I'm sure Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, who were convicted of evading millions of euros in taxes and sentenced to 20 months in prison, would appreciate nothing more than an army of their countrymen ditching their […]

Burn of the Day: NJ Embezzler Pleads Guilty To Not Paying Taxes on Money She Stole

Ouch! According to the DoJ, a former employee of Atlantic County Concrete and Material Co. admitted yesterday evading federal income taxes on nearly $700,000 she received in 2008. Nancy Armienti, 59, of Elmer, N.J., pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to one count of tax evasion. According to documents filed in this case and statements […]

Bonus Watch ’12: IRS Whistleblowers

Don't expect this to be the standard result for any future snitches on corporate tax evaders, but the IRS did make good for at least one informant: The Internal Revenue Service awarded tax whistleblower and former UBS AG banker Bradley Birkenfeld $104 million for providing the agency with insider information in UBS's illegal encouragement of […]

Jesus’ No-show Proving Terribly Inconvenient for Convicted Tax Evader

When the second coming of Christ is imminent, one needs to be prepared. Sure, there's the whole "accepting Jesus as your savior" thing, but there are financial considerations to be made as well. Like making large deposits in Swiss bank accounts! This was the strategy of "doomsday prophet" Ron Weinland, who used his church's money […]

DOJ Curious to Know if Credit Suisse Pulled a UBS

That is, helped American clients stash money offshore.

Credit Suisse said Friday it had been notified that it was the object of an investigation by the United States Department of Justice, citing “a broader industry inquiry.” The Swiss bank said that it had previously received subpoenas and other information requests from the Justice Department and other government agencies regarding cross-border services that its private banking arm provided to American clients.

As you may recall, the situation for UBS didn’t turn out so well and they sorta went back on that whole “secrecy” thing. Unfortch for Credit Suisse, they’ll probably have to snitch too:

On Friday, a court in Lausanne upheld the Swiss government decision to force UBS to hand over client data, citing “virtually uncontrollable economic repercussions for Switzerland” if it had not done so. That decision implies that Credit Suisse, too, may be ordered to surrender information about customers’ accounts to American authorities.

Credit Suisse Discloses U.S. Inquiry Into Private Banking [DealBook]
Earlier: DOJ: You Bet Your A$$ We’re Going After More Offshore Tax Evaders

Area Man Who Probably Cut Out His Own Tongue, Allegedly Murdered His Neighbor, Adds Tax Evasion to Dubious Behavior

Great find by Joe Kristan who would have no problem jumping on the New York Post’s headline desk.

This could only happen in the South:

A murder suspect accused of cutting out his own tongue has been arrested for tax evasion.

The Mobile County District Attorney’s office says Michael Crocker and his wife, Donna, didn’t pay taxes on $1 million they earned from their waste burning plant in Mount Vernon.

[…]

Investigators learned about the tax evaision while investigating Crocker for the murder of Stephen O’Neal Perret. Perret was found shot to death in a work truck near his Citronelle home on August 17, 2007. Perret was Crocker’s neighbor and the plant manager at Vulcan Industrial Services, Crocker’s company.

One day after Perret’s funeral, Crocker called 911 and said someone cut out his tongue, but police believe Crocker cut out his own tongue.

Accused Tongue Cutter Arrested Again [WKRG via Tax Update Blog]

IRS, DOJ Want a Peek at Some HSBC India Bank Accounts

Back in February, the IRS announced that it would be giving offshore bank account holders another chance to come clean on their tax-avoiding ways. Tax amnesty 1.0 went pretty well and last year, the IRS had a whale of time sticking it to UBS and a number of customers who were holding out. But in all honesty, we all know that picking off a bunch of blondes with above-average chocolatiering skills was some low-hanging fruit. Today the IRS, along with the DOJ, announced their next target of their sniffing-out-offshore-bank-account world tour. HSBC India! – come on down!

The United States is seeking an order from a federal court in San Francisco authorizing the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to request information from HSBC Bank USA, N.A. about U.S. residents who may be using accounts at The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation in India (HSBC India) to evade federal income taxes, the Justice Department announced today.

The government filed a petition with the court to allow the IRS to serve what is known as a “John Doe” summons on the bank. The IRS uses a John Doe summons to obtain information about possible tax fraud by people whose identities are unknown. If approved, the John Doe summons would direct HSBC USA to produce records identifying U.S. taxpayers with accounts at HSBC India, many of whom are believed by the government to have hidden their accounts from the IRS.

And if anyone is getting the idea that this is an HSBC/Hong Kong/India issue, Doug Shulman would like you to know that this is not personal, it’s simply the IRS doing the Treasury’s dirty work, “The IRS continues to focus its attention on international tax evasion,” the Commish said. “This summons request is focused on obtaining more information to help us determine if additional actions are needed. As I’ve said all along, our international efforts are not about just one country or one bank – it’s about our wider effort to ensure compliance with the nation’s tax laws.”

The Treasury isn’t going to fill itself now, is it?

[via WSJ]

IRS Unit Fully Intends to Make Rich People’s Audit Experience as Unpleasant as Possible

As you my have heard, being mega-rich these days has its disadvantages, including but not limited to – 1) governments getting overly reliant on the wealthy pitching in with revenues; 2) people giving you a hard time when you buy new toys; 3) your own kind selling you out.

Because times are tough and elected officials are having difficulty convincing anyone that higher taxes for the middle class are a good idea, the affluent are having the unfortunate luck to experience the rigor of the Global High Wealth Industry Group – a new unit within the IRS designed to perform the financial equivalent of a full rectal exam:

The reviews performed so far have been particularly harsh, say attorneys. Investors are being asked to turn over numerous hard-to-get documents in short order. These are “the audits from hell that your grandfather warned you about,” says Charles P. Rettig, a partner at Hochman, Salkin, Rettig, Toscher & Perez in Beverly Hills, Calif.

And don’t think for a second that the Service is putting scrubs on these assignments. Extra-special auditees deserve extra-special auditors:

Miriam L. Fisher, a tax attorney and partner at law firm Morgan Lewis in Washington, says the audit teams comprise “A-list examiners” drawn from around the country who are knowledgeable and experienced with various financial products and industries. The audits are so intensive that each team is handling only a few right now and they aren’t far along in the process, she says.

IRS spokeswoman Michelle Eldridge says the group is looking at “individuals who have a complex set of situations, and looking at the complete financial set up.” She acknowledged that “these cases are full audits.”

Although you would never expect an IRS audit to be as delightful as, say, your average weekend in the Hamptons but haven’t rich people suffered enough? The least the IRS examiners could do is bring something from Maison du Chocolat to bring the tension down a notch.

[via TaxProf]

How Desperate Is Wesley Snipes to Stay Out of Jail?

SO desperate that in addition to appealing his conviction on any possible grounds, that he has hired private dicks (allegedly!) to following Ponzi Schemer du jour (allegedly!) Ken Starr’s wife, Diane Passage.


Passage told the Post, “I was leaving, and I noticed two men trailing behind me. They stood out because they were wearing dark suits on a 90-degree day. They followed me for a block and a half, then I lost them because they were sweating so much. They contacted my doorman and my attorney, and said they wanted information that might help Snipes. He was a client [of Starr] in 2000 but before I met my husband. I have nothing to do with his taxes.”

So, naturally, this is all very confusing, as the connection between the pole dance master’s problems (frozen bank accounts) and Willie Mays Hayes’s problems (looking at 3 years in the joint for tax evasion) is basically nil.

The only that we can come up with is that Wes is reaching the obscurely known “celebrity realizes that they are for real, like really real, going to jail” freak-out stage.

Wesley Snipes has private eyes after Ponzi schemer Starr’s wife [NYP]

Accounting News Roundup: UBS Clients Have ‘Mere Hours’ to Come Clean; Dixon Hughes Sued for ‘Comfort Report’; “Big 4 Only” Bank Covenants – Revealed! | 06.18.10

UBS Customers May Have `Mere Hours’ to Report to IRS [Bloomberg]
Since the Swiss Parliament were finally able to give the OK on the agreement to disclose UBS client names to the U.S., it’s only a matter of time until the IRS starts kicking down doors in the middle of the night.

“For UBS account holders, they have mere hours to run to the IRS and hope they can disclose the account before the Swiss hand the data over,” said Asher Rubinstein, a partner at Rubinstein & Rubinstein LLP in New York who said he’s been “getting panicked calls all week.”

The lesson to be learned here, it appears, is that he IRS on a bluff, you are likely to be wrong, wrong, wrong. Doug Shulman doesn’t like to be take for a fool, “We will immediately follow up on the information we receive from the Swiss and we will vigorously enforce the laws against those who have attempted to evade their tax responsibilities by hiding their assets offshore.”


KPMG chief calls for audit reform [Accountancy Age]
John Griffith-Jones, who wishes everyone would get comfortable with the idea of the Big 4, does admit that the question about the purpose of audit is a legit one that should not be ignored, “What is the point, they and others ask, of doing extensive and increasingly elaborate audits of the financial accounts of our banks, when audits failed to identify the huge and systemic risks which led to the near collapse of the Global banking system in the Autumn of 2008?”

Campbell Recalls SpaghettiOs [WSJ]
UH OH…

600 Parish investors sue accounting firm [Charleston Post Courier]
Dixon Hughes is being sued by 600 investors of convicted mini-Madoff Al Parish for their “Comfort Report.” “The lawsuit alleges that the firm claimed to compile the report from brokerage statements, when it received statements generated only by Parish that ‘summarized imaginary account balances.’ ” Oops.

Oh, You Mean Like the Same Fed Audits We Already Have? Way to Go, Congress! [JDA]
“As any accountant will tell you, we perform audits each year to ensure the comparability of financial statements for the sake of investors. Since there is no comparing Fed statements and there are no investors (excluding the banks with mandated stock holdings in the Fed banks they are regulated by), basically all we’re doing is jerking off with our left hands pretending it is someone else doing the jerking.”

Firing squad execution sobering, but dramatic [AP]
And who doesn’t like drama?

Restrictive bank covenants keep the Big Four on top [Accountancy Age]
“Big 4 only covenants” in lending agreements are blackballing smaller firms according to BDO International CEO Jeremy Newman and others. Nonsense, you say? AA presented an example:

Buried in the 81-page credit agreement for US-based healthcare provider Amedisys is a 22-word stipulation that highlights a problem some fear is threatening the stability of the global economic system.

“Audited consolidated balance sheets of the group members… [must be] reported on by and accompanied by an unqualified report from a Big Four accounting firm,” the phrase reads.

There’s no telling how many loan agreements have this exact language but “Big Four” is often replaced by “reputable” so it’s not if the “Big 4 covenant” is cooked right into the template. That being said, AA reports that the Big 4 + GT and BDO admitted last month that the covenants do exist in the UK.

Strangely enough, Amedisys is currently in the cross-hairs of Crooked CFO-turned-Forensic sleuth Sam Antar.

CFOs on vacation: Fewer call office [San Francisco Business Times]
God forbid.

Accounting News Roundup: UBS Set to Release More Names as Standoff Ends; SEC Drops Cassano Inquiry; Levin, McCain Want Stock Option Gap Closed | 06.17.10

Swiss Parliament Backs UBS Pact [WSJ]
After a short standoff in Swiss parliament, Swiss lawmakers approved the agreement with the U.S. to turn over the remaining names of UBS clients, per the agreement between the two countries. The lower house dropped the referendum proposal that would have delayed the release of the names and likely caused UBS to miss the August deadline which would have resulted in new charges against the Swiss behemoth.

The Journal reports that a Swiss government is prepared to release an additional 1,200 names following the initial 500 released last year.

Lawmakers Weigh Changes tostor Protections [Bloomberg BusinessWeek]
Congress is kicking around the possibility of an office within the SEC to respond to whistleblower complaints. Brilliant!


McGladrey Mourns the Loss of Former Partner Ray Krause
Mr Krause passed away on Monday after 40 years of service to both McGladrey and the accounting profession. He served on many professional standard setting groups including AICPA’s Accounting Standards Executive Committee, the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s Emerging Issues Task Force, and on the Financial Accounting Standards Advisory Council. H was memorialized by his friend and colleague Jay Hanson, McGladrey’s National Director of Accounting:

Ray died unexpectedly yesterday. He was on vacation in Orlando with his nine-year-old grandson doing what he loved—visiting Disney World.

Before his retirement six years ago, Ray spent more than 40 years with McGladrey. He practiced in a number of locations, including a long stop in the national office as national director of accounting. He retired as partner in 2004 but continued to work for the national office part-time in Rockford, Ill.

During his long career, he served in a number of professional standard setting groups, including the AICPA’s Accounting Standards Executive Committee, the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s Emerging Issues Task Force, and on the Financial Accounting Standards Advisory Council.

Ray is best remembered for being the consummate professional and his easy-going style. He was very well respected in the accounting profession. Comments coming in from those that knew him include: “Ray was one of the true gentlemen of the accounting profession,” and “Ray was about as fine a human being as there is.”

He was a great mentor to many colleagues in the national office. His style of giving his complete attention to whomever he was talking to, providing understandable explanations for complex topics, probing deeply for all the facts, and his uncanny ability to help draw a conclusion with full understanding will be greatly missed. Ray could convey the message to someone that they were getting to the wrong conclusion with such delicacy that you didn’t even feel it, and felt good about the answer. He knew many of the “back stories” about how and why some of the most complex accounting standards came about, which is often important to understand what they mean.

Ray will be greatly missed by his daughter, son, four grandchildren and other family and friends. McGladrey and the accounting profession have also suffered a great loss.

Inquiry Ends on Cassano, Once of AIG [WSJ]
The SEC has dropped its investigation of Joseph Cassano, the former head of AIG’s Financial Products Unit, which means he won’t face civil charges in the unit’s role in financial crisis. The SEC is also declining to pursue charges against another AIGFP executive, Andrew Forster, who was also under scrutiny.

Senator sees big reporting gap in stock options [AP]
Senator Carl “Shitty Deal” Levin and new Snooki BFF John McCain “have proposed legislation that would require that the tax deduction for stock options not exceed the expense for options reported in financial statements.”

The two are a little rankled about the $52 billion gap between the amount of stock option expenses recognized for financial reporting purposes and the expense reported for tax purposes. Guess who’s getting the short end on that one?

Bank auditors were fully involved in developing report [FT]
John Hitchens, head of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW) and a PwC Partner would like to dispel any notion that auditors will resist reform after taking it on the chin for the financial crisis:

As chairman of the ICAEW working group that produced the proposals, I would like to correct this impression.

Bank auditors from the six largest audit firms were fully involved in developing the report and supportive of all its recommendations, including the proposal that banks develop summary risk statements which auditors would then give comfort over.

Feel better?

U.K. Scraps FSA in Biggest Bank Overhaul Since 1997 [Bloomberg]
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne will do away with the Financial Services Authority, replacing it with three new regulatory bodies and giving most of its oversight powers to the Bank of England.

Intuit Works to Restore Online Access [WSJ]
Any individuals or small businesses that use TurboTax, Quicken and QuickBooks have been in a world of hurt as online access has been down, down, down. “Some Intuit websites were beginning to come back online late Wednesday afternoon,” according to an Intuit spokesperson. The situation is fluid.

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac to delist from NYSE [CNN]
Meant to mention this yesterday since it was the DoD but you know how it goes. Anyway, see you another life FNM and FRE.

Accounting News Roundup: UBS Deal Back on Track; Allen Stanford’s Circus Causes Problems for Co-Defendants; Zynga Lands $147 Million | 06.15.10

Swiss Parliament Backs UBS Pact [WSJ]
After telling U.S. and IRS to drop dead last week, the lower House of Swiss Parliament has approved the deal to turn over 4,450 names as part of UBS’ settlement involving their assistance to taxpayers in the U.S. evade their obligations through offshore accounts.

There’s one small problem remaining – the lower house wants to put the agreement to a popular referendum while the upper house in parliament is opposed to the idea. The two have until Friday to reconcile their differences, otherwise another vote will be necessary to settle the referendum issue.

The problem with the referendum is that it could take months for happen and it could cause the Swiss to miss the August deadline that it agreed to. This could lead to fresh charges against UBS and further extending a story that pretty much everyone has grown tired of.


Stanford’s Co-Defendants Try to Flee the ‘Circus’ [DealBook]
Stanford’s Chief Investment Officer, Chief Accounting Officer and Controller are all attempting to sever themselves from Al’s proceedings because he’s an absolute drama whore.

Former CIO Laura Pendergest-Holt’s motion to have her trial severed describes RAS’ conduct as ‘egregious and circus-like conduct,’ using the term “circus” at least eight times.

So while a circus is infinitely fun for the rest of us, it doesn’t really do co-conspirators any good when they are trying to get a fair trial.

Dealing With a Toxic Resumé [FINS]
How can you move past a job with a tax company like Stanford, Countrywide, Bear Stearns et al.? You might just want to GIVE UP (and that could be advisable if you were a perp) but there are some things you can do to wash away that taint on your resumé.

For starters don’t bad mouth the old company, even though they probably deserve it. Secondly, you might attach an addendum to your resumé in order to explain the whole sitch and you can always turn the situation into a positive by explaining how you’ve learned from working at such a lousy company.

Keep your chin up, you’ll be back to being a white collar working stiff in no time.

Duke boy dodges tax hazard [Tax Watchdog]
John Schneider, aka Bo Duke, and his wife owe California about $28,000 in back taxes. Turns out his old accountant left him ‘high and dry’ so he’s working it out with Arnie.

Zynga Receives $147 Million Investment From Japan’s Softbank [Bloomberg BusinessWeek]
Memo to Farmville Haters: it’s here to stay and there will be more to come.

IRS Accused of Being Sneaky Double-Crossing Tricksters

Who would have guessed that the IRS was capable of pulling the old switcheroo on confessed tax dodgers?

Apparently not some “former high-ranking tax officials” who are all bent out of shape because the IRS decided to prosecute their clients even though they came out of offshore tax haven land with their hands up.

A letter dated March 30 and signed by 32 lawyers, many of them former high-ranking tax officials now in private practice, said the IRS actions “smack of trickery.” They said that because the taxpayers had turned themselves in, they shouldn’t be prosecuted. The letter said heavy-handed treatment of some account holders could cause taxpayer confessions to “grind to a halt.”

The letter acknowledged the government’s long-held right to reject confessors if it already has their names or has opened an audit. But it argued that subjecting these taxpayers to rare public prosecutions would look like a double-cross. The writers also warned that if the government went ahead with prosecutions, it would radically change the “risk assessment” they offer their clients and lead to fewer voluntary disclosures.

So you acknowledge the right of the Feds to say ixnay on confessions of known tax scofflaws, plus one of Dougie’s deputies is quoted saying this: “The Service has been clear and consistent. We said that people already known to us were not good candidates,” and then you write a letter? The IRS has been attacked from the air, had suspicious packages dropped on their doorsteps and been blamed for suicides and you think a stern letter is going to sway them?

IRS Faulted for Prosecuting Confessed Evaders of Taxes [WSJ]

DOJ: You Bet Your A$$ We’re Going After More Offshore Tax Evaders

It appears that the offshore bank account crackdown tour is going straight through Asia, where DOJ senior tax attorney Kevin Downing gave a speech saying, “We expect over the next couple of years, in addition to the UBS cases, to have somewhere between 4,000 and 7,000 more cases coming to us with. These are from banks and governments cooperating.”

Obviously the UBS flogging was such a huge success that the DOJ/IRS figures they might as well keep a good thing going and is making a nice little swing through Asia to give them fair warning that they could be traipsing through their backyard very soon:

Singapore was one stop in a tour of Asian cities also including Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai by Downing and his U.S. Justice Department team. The tour featured meetings with financial and tax regulatory bodies and bankers discussing cross-border tax prosecutions.

He said that since the start of the U.S. crackdown on tax evasion, money has moved from the Caribbean to Switzerland and Asia.

Of course Mr Downing doesn’t want to get ugly saying, “he hoped the U.S. authorities would not have to conduct “UBS-style” probes,” but obviously that option is always on the table.

U.S. to probe thousands more offshore tax evaders [Reuters]

Is the Shortage of Good Accountants in the Sex Industry an Opportunity?

Okay my friends, this is a serious problem in our country that needs addressed. The vast shortage of competent, professional, tax advisors and accountants for escort service businesses, brothels, and your run-of-the-mill houses of ill repute can go on no longer. If not for the business opportunity, then for the good of your fellow Americans and maybe your state’s dire fiscal situation.


Today we learned that the one of the proprietors of Companions, “a call-out escort service” in Salt Lake City that was convicted of one count of tax evasion. Jodi Hoskins and her husband Roy were both convicted of dodging taxes (he in May 2009) for the year 2002. They managed to underreport their gross receipts by $1,204,354 which resulted in evaded taxes of $485k-ish. As you can tell, this is a bit of a problem. And with all challenges/problems/giant pains in the ass, therein lies an opportunity.

Our position is that these businesses simply cannot go on without more accountants and tax professionals stepping up to help these pillars of the business community run their whorehouses better. This means you, GC readers. Your knowledge of the double-entry accounting, inventory, derivatives, and payroll will be invaluable for these entrepreneurs and their employees.

Plus! If more of these businesses are in compliance with state and federal taxes, that’s one more step to states becoming fiscally solvent AND Tim Geithner can give the cash printing machine break. Everyone wins!

Escort Service Operator Convicted of Tax Evasion [Web CPA]
Companions Website [Warning: NSFW]

(UPDATE) Ex-Hospital CFO Pleads Guilty to Tax Evasion, Health Care Fraud

In dubious CFO news, Vincent Rubio, the former financial chief at Tustin Hospital and Medical Center, agreed to plead guilty yesterday for paying kickbacks to “marketers” who recruited homeless people from the Skid Row area of Los Angeles.

Rubio pleaded guilty to health care fraud and tax evasion; he was the fifth person to charged in the investigation that is still ongoing. He faces fifteen years in prison After the homeless people were treated, the hospital billed Medicare and Medi-Cal for unnecessary treatments.


The AP piece doesn’t have much to it so we’re got to wondering all sorts of things like: A) Who discovered this fraud? Was it — gasp — the auditors? B) what were these unnecessary treatments? We’re these displaced individuals getting checked for hernias or less intrusive procedures? C) how much was Medicare and Medi-Cal charged? Are we talking Madoff-esque numbers? D) When the homeless were finished up at the hospital did they strap them to a rickshaw and send them back out in the streets or did they try to help them for real?

We called the hospital to find out more and we were connected to a spokesperson, who told us that she could not comment on the matter. She informed us that our message would be relayed to the hospital’s President, James Young. At the time of posting, we had not heard back from him. We’ll update this post with any comment or further information.

Ex-hospital CFO pleads guilty in homeless scam [AP via SF Chronicle]

UPDATE Friday, February 12th: We received the press release from Pacific Health, the owner of the Hospital:

February 11, 2010

Press Release

Pacific Health Corporation learned of the allegation that a third party made improper payments to Vince Rubio on November 30, 2006. Upon receipt of the allegation, Pacific Health Corporation contacted its outside counsel to investigate the allegation.

Within one day of the allegation being received, Pacific Health Corporation took employment action in the matter, placing Mr. Rubio on leave. Within one week, Pacific Health Corporation terminated the employment of Mr. Rubio.

After the completion of the its internal review and taking the employment action, Pacific Health reported the matter to law enforcement officials. That took place in early 2007.

Offshore Account Holdouts Better Start Coming Up with Excuses

Thumbnail image for IRS_logo-thumb-150x140.jpgThe jig is finally up for 500 UBS customers. The Swiss bank has notified the first group of the 4,000 some-odd clients that UBS said they would turn over to the IRS. This is one of those, “Have you ever had to deliver bad news to someone and if so, how did you handle it?” moments.
The good news for you holdouts is that you can still appeal:

Those taxpayers whose names have been selected have 30 days to appeal to Switzerland’s administrative court. Um, good luck with that. Part of the criteria for determining whether to turn over the names involved instances of “clear fraudulent actions” including the production of false documents. I’m not sure you could argue your way out of that one – even in Switzerland.

Never mind. You people are screwed.
UBS Set To Turn Over First Set of Names [Tax Girl]

Charlie Rangel’s Name to Appear on Tax Scofflaw Website?

charlie rangel.jpgMaybe! The State of New York remains in a fiscal crisis and is so desperate for money that apparently all ideas are being considered. According to the Daily News, the latest bright idea from Albany is to publish the top 200 businesses and the top 200 individual delinquents on the Internet apparently to shame those delinquents into paying their share.
Everybody seems to think it’s a good idea but can’t agree on who should be handling it. The State Tax Department would prefer that they put the list up themselves but legislators in Albany smell populism:

Tax officials say they oppose the law, preferring to enact the measure administratively.
Given the fiscal crunch, the state tax department has already increased its efforts to go after tax scofflaws.
The department can’t commit to creating a list until it explores the “resources we need,” particularly in a time of fiscal crisis, Burns said.
[Assemblyman William Colton (D-Brooklyn)] said he wants it done soon. “When the state desperately needs dollars to provide services to schools, hospitals and nursing homes, we don’t have time to wait,” he said. “We need to get this program implemented.”

Well played, Assemblyman. But obviously the important question is: will Rangs have to give up his rent controlled apartments? It’s important.
Expose tax cheats’ Web of deceit – pols [NYDN via TaxProf Blog]

Joe Francis Plans to Argue That Anything Related to Topless Girls is Deductible

Joe-Francis.jpgSome might call Joe Francis a genius. Others may call him a pig. Regardless, the IRS is calling him a scofflaw tax evader. His defense strategy will entail an elaborate slideshow that will explain that Francis is the “business of sex” and that most of what he’s doing are business expenses.
Sex is a confusing business so Francis’s defense will help the jury understand:
Get informed, after the jump

• Mr. Francis is in the business of sex
• Mr. Francis IS Girls Gone Wild
Girls Gone Wild is Successful

See? It’s not complicated.
The defense strategy will also include pictures of celebrity guests (with some misspelled names) that were at Francis’s beachside house in Mexico where he incurred “business expenses”. Francis will also present a slide that shows himself to be akin to Hugh Hefner and thus, proving that anything to naked girls should be allowed as a deductible expense.
Open and shut as far as we’re concerned.
Jennifer Aniston For The Defense? [The Smoking Gun via TaxProf Blog]

UBS and IRS Probably Have a Deal, No Toblerones Involved

300px-Toblerone-1.jpgUBS is going to name names, albeit not all of them, bringing us to ever so close to the bitter end of the whole IRS/UBS standoff.
All the gory details are expected to be released on August 10th, when hopefully everyone will kiss and make up officially.
The focus of the settlement will be around 7,000 or so accounts that are associated with offshore companies and trusts that are possibly tied to some financial shenanigans. Under the potential settlement, UBS won’t turn over any names until after September 23rd, which is the last day for offshore account holders to confess their sinful ways.
Deal Reached in UBS Tax Battle [WSJ]

Some Taxpayers Seeking Enlightenment, Others Risking Eternal Damnation

the-end.jpgThe IRS is saying that wealthy taxpayers are rethinking their sinful offshore banking ways in expectation of a tax evasion rapture.
Last week the Service had 400 applicants for its temporary voluntary disclosure program which is four times the amount they had in all of last year suggesting that some taxpayers are seeing the light.
The IRS evangelism has come about mostly because of their pursuit of the 52,000 secret names held by UBS. While this battle for souls is still continuing, the IRS figured they’d make a run at converting other, non-UBS, sinners.
Seek thy truth, after the jump


Some taxpayers are remaining non-believers however, thanks to their agnostic attorneys:

Yet attorneys say that those who come forward now risk supplying the IRS with more financial information than the agency may have otherwise been able to collect. “These taxpayers reasonably fear that applying to the program could supply the agency with a roadmap it would not otherwise have,” said Barbara Kaplan of Greenberg Traurig in New York, who handles voluntary-disclosure cases. “They worry that they could wind up both rejected for clemency and helping the IRS case against them.”

Ultimately, all taxpayers will have to take their own path but if they find themselves cast into the darkness, they won’t be able to say that the truth wasn’t presented to them.
Tax Evaders Flock to IRS to Confess Their Sins [WSJ]

Brazilian Soccer Star Romario Proves that Hating Taxes is a World-Wide Institution

romario.jpgIn another demonstration that the rich and famous either hate taxes or simply play dumb to their existence, Brazilian soccer star Romario has been convicted of tax evasion and faces three and a half years in prison. He’s appealing the conviction so it’s likely that he will end up coaching soccer to troubled youth for five years.
The allegations were that he skipped on paying $500,000 in taxes in 1996 and 1997. Romario’s attorney claims he is innocent because “it’s not his fault” which is a similar excuse that might be used by a third grader who tripped someone at recess.
According to USA Today, Romario also has trouble paying child support having been arrested for it twice, once in 2004 and just a few weeks ago. He was released in both instances after paying what he owed or proving that he had already paid.
Can somebody get this guy an accountant? He’s having a hell of a time with non-soccer responsibilities.

IRS Getting Back to Scaring People into Tax Compliance

IRS_logo-thumb-150x140.jpgIf you’ve got a offshore bank account and are less than with it when it comes to tax compliance, it might be advisable that you talk to your accountant.
The IRS, who is becoming increasingly less cuddly under the Obama Administration, is stepping up its scrutiny of Americans with income derived from offshore accounts greater than $10,000.
However, because the Service doesn’t want to come off as a big meanie, it is giving everyone late to the game until September 23rd to file their Foreign Bank Account Report (FBAR). If you’re the type that doesn’t concern yourself with such matters, here are some things you can look forward to:

Those who have inadvertently failed to report offshore income, even just a few hundred dollars, could be subject to a $10,000-a-year penalty going back several years. For those the IRS considers willful tax evaders, it is much worse. The IRS can impose a penalty of $100,000, or one half the value of the account, whichever is greater, per year.

Those of you that have been scofflaws on your offshore accounts, don’t fret. The IRS is allowing to confess your sins and report yourselves under their “voluntary disclosure program”. However, you will still have to be investigated by the Service’s criminal division which sounds about as pleasant as a rectal exam in front of all your friends.
IRS Gets Tougher on Offshore Tax Evaders [WSJ]

UBS Names Needed so We Can Pay for Healthcare Otherwise We’ll Have to Print More Money

obama_point.jpg“Rich people, I want your money.”
No, seriously. Hand it over.
We’ve covered the failure (so far) of the IRS to get UBS to name names on 52,000 Americans and we’ve heard some good suggestions but maybe chocolate isn’t what the Service is interested in.
The House passed a pricey healthcare proposal yesterday and B to the O wanted it to be “budget neutral” which means, “We’re in a deep hole you clowns. Don’t make it deeper.”
Charged with said task, they went to a cocktail party got to work and came up with a solution that they super-duper rich will foot the bill via taxes. That means, IRS, get your shit together, because Nancy Pelosi has had enough of rich people, that aren’t her, not paying their fair share of taxes. Swiss bank account holders beware, here are the gory details that you’ll be getting in on if your name gets dropped:

Under the $1.2 trillion plan passed by the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives, the wealthiest 1.2 percent of U.S. households would have to pay an additional $540 billion in taxes over the next 10 years via an income surtax of between 1 and 5.4 percent. For the super-elite, those in the top 10th of 1 percent (and presumably the type of taxpayers who have Swiss bank accounts), that works out to an additional $280,000 a year in taxes on an average annual income of $2.3 million a year, according to the Tax Policy Center.

So basically it looks as though the IRS needs to close the tax gap because…wait for it…there’s shit to pay for! We’re not slapping healthcare on the Federal Reserve credit card, no, no. Right here and now we start paying for stuff out of our own pockets. So get on these Swiss banks and get the names because they’re avoiding their patriotic duty.
Obama’s self-defeating war on the wealthy [James Pethokoukis/Reuters]

Swiss Gov’t: You Want the Names? You’ll Have to Waterboard Us.

ubs.jpgWith only days until a showdown between the IRS and UBS, the Swiss Government has announced that it will stop the release of the 52,000 client names even if the U.S. Court orders the names to be released.
Now before you say, “Oh, Swiss Government, you’re so cute with your braided blonde hair and neutrality,” they sound pretty serious:

“Switzerland makes it perfectly clear that Swiss law prohibits UBS from complying with a possible order by the court in Miami to hand over the client information,” the Swiss Justice Ministry said. “On the basis of the Federal Council’s landmark decision, UBS will by no means be in a position to comply with such an order.” The Finance Ministry added that “all the necessary measures should be taken to prevent UBS from handing over the information on the 52,000 account holders demanded in the U.S. civil proceeding.”

We really feel that a few Toblerones would really go a long way to convincing the IRS that the names aren’t really that important. Just say the word IRS and we’re sure that they can make it happen.
Switzerland: Will Block UBS From Giving U.S. Client Data [WSJ]