FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2002
TDD (202) 514-1888
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT OBTAINS PERMANENT INJUNCTION
Victory For Irs In Battle Against Tax Fraud Promoters
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, a federal court in Tampa, Florida issued a permanent injunction against Joseph N. Sweet and EDM Enterprises, both of Bradenton, Florida, ordering them and others working with them from promoting and selling tax plans or shelters that urge taxpayers to violate tax laws.
"The Tax Division of the Department of Justice is determined to stop the promotion and practice of tax fraud," said Eileen J. O'Connor, Assistant Attorney General for the Tax Division. "This injunction should assure people who pay their taxes that those who don't, or who encourage others not to, will not get away with it."
The injunction requires Sweet and EDM to contact customers who previously purchased their abusive tax promotions and inform them of the injunction. It also prohibits Sweet, EDM, and persons working cooperatively with them from promoting their false claims that wages are not taxable income, the federal income tax is unconstitutional, and the IRS is not legally authorized to collect taxes. The court's order requires Sweet and EDM to identify all persons who bought tax shelter plans from Sweet or EDM.
According to papers the United States filed in the case, Sweet and EDM have sold and continue to sell tax-avoidance plans stating that paying federal income taxes is voluntary and that wages are not income. The Court papers also say the plan materials are sold in conjunction with Sweet's self-published book "GOOD NEWS For FORM 1040 Filers: Your Compliance is Strictly VOLUNTARY! BAD NEWS For The IRS! Everything You Ever Needed to Know About the Income Tax That the IRS Is Afraid You'll Find Out." Sweet and EDM sold books and other plan materials to at least 650 persons and sold at least 400 "trusts." Sweet's and EDM's activities could cost American taxpayers more than $6.5 million.
The United States' papers also allege that numerous web sites currently advertise "Dr. Sweet's program," and Sweet himself actively participates in marketing the plan materials. Material from one such web site filed with the court, from a group called "The JoY Foundation," claims Sweet as the author of its program for tax avoidance and lists Sweet as a speaker at JoY Foundation seminars and bi-weekly "Associate Degree Conference Calls."
People hearing about tax benefits which sound "too good to be true" should check them out with a trusted tax professional or the IRS. Anyone who has information about suspected tax fraud should report it to the Internal Revenue Service tip line at 1-800-829-0433.