Income Tax Fraud in Florida
Last week several individuals, including a breath alcohol technician assigned to assist Broward County and other regional counties in driving under the influence cases, were arrested on several federal fraud- and conspiracy-related charges. The group is accused of using the personal information of individuals – many times taken from patients’ hospital records – and preparing and submitting false income tax returns to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The returns were prepared and signed by the group’s business, Family Tree Taxes.
Income Tax Fraud is a Serious Crime with Serious Penalties
Even with the IRS’s recent budget woes, the agency remains committed to aggressively prosecuting individuals and businesses who file bogus tax returns. An income tax fraud crime occurs when a person or group of people “willfully” submit a false or misleading tax return or other tax-related document that is signed and attested as accurate by the individual or persons under the penalties of perjury. You may also be charged with mail, wire, or bank fraud if you transmit the fraudulent income tax return or other documents using one of these methods.
Tax fraud activity can include under- or overstating your income and its source(s), intentionally claiming deductions and credits you are not entitled to, or filing a return on behalf of someone from whom you do not have authority (just to name a few types).
Filing a false income tax return and similar activities are serious felonies and penalties can depend on the amount of money received by the perpetrator. It is not uncommon for individuals convicted of filing a false income tax return to face a fine of $500,000 and up to three years in prison.
How Can a Federal Crimes Defense Attorney Help Me?
Aside from the potential fines and incarceration, being charged with filing a fraudulent income tax return or other document can cause a great deal of embarrassment and stress. Unfortunately, due to the complex nature of these cases, there is rarely a speedy resolution to these charges.
Hiring a federal criminal defense attorney is your best opportunity for resolving your case as quickly as possible and getting your good name back and your life’s natural rhythm restored. One way your attorney can help is by challenging the federal government’s evidence as to the willfulness of your actions. Simply filing an income tax with a mistake is not a crime; rather, it is only when you deliberately file a tax return you know to contain false information. Unless the government can produce evidence that convinces a jury of your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, you will be found not guilty. Similarly, if the government alleges that that you conspired with others in filing a false tax return, it must produce evidence that supports this.
Contact Your Federal Criminal Defense Attorney
Even if you did nothing wrong, federal criminal charges – especially those pertaining to tax returns and other tax documents – can be particularly complex. Federal and IRS prosecutors have years of experience in prosecuting these cases. To combat this, you need an aggressive and knowledgeable defense attorney on your side. When you are concerned about tax-related criminal charges, contact South Florida attorney Jeffrey S. Weiner for assistance.