Taxing Times – June 2015

by on June 8, 2015

PLAXICO BURRESS INDICTED ON STATE INCOME TAX CHARGES

The former wide receiver allegedly failed to pay nearly $50,000 in state income taxes.

Former NFL wide receiver Plaxico Burress has been indicted on tax charges in New Jersey. According to prosecutors, he failed to pay $47,903 in state income taxes.

A former receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Jets and New York Giants, Burress has been in and out of legal trouble, most notably for accidentally shooting himself at a nightclub in New York City.

Burress filed his taxes for 2013, but the electronic funds transfer wasn’t successful. He was charged with issuing a bad check or electronic funds transfer and willful failure to pay state tax.

If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison and a $15,000 fine for each count.

WISC. MAN UNDERSTATED INCOME BY $2 MILLION

A Wisconsin man has pleaded guilty to filing a false tax return for the tax year 2009 after he understated his income by nearly $2 million.

In his plea agreement, Uri Fried, 58, of Waunakee, Wisc., agreed that his unreported income between 2008 and 2009 was $1.98 million.

Fried also agreed to cooperate with the Internal Revenue Service regarding the payment of all taxes, interest, and penalties due and owing.

Fried waived his right to indictment by a grand jury and was charged in federal court. Fried’s prosecution is the result of an investigation by IRS Criminal Investigation.

COLO. MAN GUILTY IN TAX REFUND SCHEME

A Colorado man pleaded guilty to mail fraud and aggravated identity theft in connection with a scheme to defraud the IRS.
According to court records, Mark J. Jones Sr., 51, of Aurora, Colo., was part of a scheme to cash more than $2 million in U.S. Treasury checks.
An IRS investigation determined that Jones, along with unidentified co-conspirators, stole the personal identifying information of numerous people and filed at least 810 fraudulent income tax returns.
As a result of these false returns, Jones and his co-conspirators received more than $2.6 million in fraudulent income tax refunds.
Jones faces a sentence of up to 42 years in prison.

WASH. STATE AUDITOR INDICTED IN TAX CASE

He allegedly stole more than $2 million and did not report the money to the IRS.

Washington State Auditor Troy X. Kelley, an elected official, has been indicted for his scheme to keep stolen money and hide it from both the IRS and those due a refund related to their purchase of a home or refinance of a home mortgage.
According to the indictment, between 2003 and 2008, Kelley operated a business that was paid by real estate title companies to track documents related to real estate sales and refinancings. Kelley had agreements with those companies for the fees he could charge in connection with the document-tracking work. While the title companies withheld $100 to $150 on each loan to pay the fee, the bulk of the money was to be returned to the borrower, with Kelley’s company being paid $15 to $20 per transaction.
However, the indictment alleges that in most cases, Kelley kept the entire amount withheld on each loan, resulting in more than $2 million in stolen money. The indictment alleges Kelley failed to pay federal taxes and obstructed the IRS in its efforts to collect taxes from him.
“Mr. Kelley spun a web of lies in an effort to avoid paying his taxes and keep more than a million dollars that he knew did not belong to him, but instead should have been returned to thousands of homeowners across this state,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes in prepared statement.
“I commend the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation for their diligent work to piece together the voluminous records that form the basis for the charges in this case.”

DEVELOPER GETS FOUR YEARS IN PRISON

While living in a lavish lifestyle, he refused to pay $500,000 in taxes.

Following a nine-day trial, a high-rolling real estate developer convicted of tax evasion and Social Security number fraud was sentenced to four years in federal prison..

Thomas R. Hazelrigg III, 67, formerly of Bellevue, Wash., and living in Rancho Mirage, Calif., spent million on gambling, horse racing, private aircraft and country clubs.

Evidence presented at trial described how Hazelrigg first agreed to pay $533,454 in taxes owed for tax years 1989, 1990 and 1991, and then failed to pay the tax debt while living a lavish lifestyle that included multimillion-dollar property purchases and remodels, and expensive artwork.

“This defendant used family members and friends in a wide ranging scheme of deceit and manipulation all to avoid paying taxes he knew he owed,” said Acting United States Attorney Annette L. Hayes. “His greed was enormous.”

TENN. MAN FAILED TO PAY MORE THAN $500K IN TAXES

A Tennessee man was indicted on tax evasion charges for failing to file and pay more than $500,000 in income tax returns.

According to the indictment, John Ballard, 46, of Germantown, Tenn., a former securities/investment broker, failed to file and pay income tax returns from 2000 to 2008. Ballard’s delinquency caused him to owe $553,627.28 in back taxes.

Ballard was able to avoid satisfying his tax obligations by falsely claiming to the IRS that he was unable to find employment. Despite owing the government, the indictment alleges Ballard was paid approximately $522,140.79 in 2009 alone from his then employer, NFP Securities.


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