FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2005
TDD (202) 514-1888
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT SUES TO SHUT DOWN
WASHINGTON STATE ALLEGED TAX SCAM
Justice Department Says Two Seattle-Area Men Allegedly
Help Customers Attempt To Evade Taxes
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Justice Department today sued Glen Stoll, of Edmonds, Washington, and Michael Stevens, of Everett, Washington, to bar an alleged tax fraud scheme that uses sham trusts to help customers try to evade federal income taxes. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington in Seattle, alleges that Stoll and Stevens are former associates of John and Candace Sinclair, of Kirkland, Washington, against whom the government filed a similar suit last month.
Today’s complaint alleges that the two men and their companies, which the government also sued, sell a fraudulent “corporation sole” and “ministerial trust” scheme, falsely telling customers that conducting their personal and business activities through a so-called ministerial trust eliminates obligations to file federal tax returns and pay federal tax. The complaint alleges that the defendants market their program through a website and falsely claim to be lawyers. The defendants also allegedly help customers transfer their income to offshore bank accounts. According to the complaint, the customers then repatriate the funds using credit cards connected to the accounts but fail to report the funds as income on their tax returns. Defendants allegedly charge customers at least $4,000 to participate in the scheme.
“Law-abiding taxpayers deserve the assurance that their competitors and neighbors are also paying what the law requires,” said Eileen J. O'Connor, Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice's Tax Division. “Stopping the promotion of tax scams and identifying and taking appropriate action against their users are high priorities for the Tax Division.”
The suit also seeks an order directing the defendants to give the Justice Department the names, mailing and e-mail addresses, Social Security numbers, and telephone numbers of their customers.
Misuse of trusts tops the IRS’s list of “Dirty Dozen” tax scams. Information about the “Dirty Dozen” is available at: http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=120803,00.html. Information about corporation sole tax scams is available at http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=121566,00.html. More information about the Justice Department’s lawsuit against the Sinclairs can be found at http://www.usdoj.gov/tax/txdv05011.htm. More information about the Justice Department's efforts against tax-scam promoters can be found at http://www.usdoj.gov/tax/taxpress2005.htm. Information about the Justice Department's Tax Division can be found at http://www.usdoj.gov/tax.