WASHINGTON – The United States has sued a Las Vegas-based CPA and two others to stop an alleged tax-fraud scheme, the Justice Department announced today. Named as defendants in the civil injunction suit were CPA Wayne Reeves, Reeves’ wife, Diane Vaoga, and their alleged co-promoter, James Stoll. The government complaint was filed last month in Las Vegas with the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada. Announcement of the court filing was delayed until Reeves was served with court papers this week.
The government complaint alleges that Reeves, Vaoga and Stoll, acting through various entities, sell a sham-trust scheme that improperly reduces or eliminates customers’ reported federal income taxes. According to the government complaint, Reeves, Vaoga and Stoll maintain offices in Las Vegas and Wyoming, and promote their scheme to customers throughout the United States. The suit also seeks to bar the defendants from preparing federal income tax returns and to require them to turn over their customer lists to the government.
According to the government complaint, Reeves, touting his experience as a CPA, solicits customers to participate in the defendants’ illegal income/asset sheltering scheme. According to the complaint Stoll refers to himself as a “highly specialized paralegal” and creates the trusts, corporations and limited-liability partnerships needed to further the scheme. Vaoga allegedly serves as an officer of one of the entities at issue. The government alleges that the defendants’ scheme “enables participants to illegally shelter income and to hide assets from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) through a series of bogus entities designed to disrupt and interfere with IRS tax assessment and collection efforts.”
The IRS lists misuse of trusts as one of its “Dirty Dozen” tax scams. The Justice Department has obtained injunctions against hundreds of tax-return preparers and tax-fraud promoters in the past decade. Information about these cases is available on the Justice Department website.