| FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 2012
TDD (202) 514-1888
PROMOTER OF ANTI-TAX SCHEME SENTENCED IN PENNSYLVANIA TO FIVE YEARS IN PRISON FOR TAX CONSPIRACY
WASHINGTON – Donald Turner (aka Don Wood) was sentenced to 60 months in prison, the maximum penalty under law for his crime of conviction, the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced today. On Sept. 15, 2011, following a jury trial, Turner was found guilty of conspiring to defraud the United States.
U.S. District Court Senior Judge Maurice B. Cohill, sitting in Erie, Pa., also ordered Turner to three years of supervised release and $408,034 in restitution to the IRS. Turner was taken into custody immediately following the sentencing.
According to evidence at trial, Turner sold a book entitled “Tax Free! How the Super Rich Do It,” which introduced readers to his organization, First American Research (FAR). Through FAR, Turner promoted an illegal scheme to reduce or eliminate an individual’s tax liability through the use of purported offshore entities, among other things.
In 1991, Donald Turner had sold the program to Daniel Leveto, a Meadville, Pa., veterinarian. As part of the program, Leveto utilized various methods to conceal his income and assets from the IRS as directed by Turner. One of these methods included the purported sale of Leveto’s veterinary business to an alleged offshore entity called Center Company. Leveto actually retained dominion and control over the veterinary business. In 2005, a jury convicted Leveto of all counts, and he was subsequently sentenced to prison.
The case resulted from an investigation by the IRS - Criminal Investigation. Trial Attorneys Andrew P. Young and Thomas Voracek from the Justice Department’s Tax Division prosecuted the case.