FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE |
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2004
TDD (202) 514-1888
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT SUES TO SHUT DOWN ALLEGED TAX SCAMS
Sham Trusts, False Claims of Tax-Exempt Status Allegedly Used to Hide Income and Assets
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Justice Department announced today that it has filed a civil suit seeking to stop Raymond Leo Bell, American Beauty Rose, and The Best Way, Inc., all of Yelm, Washington, from promoting fraudulent tax schemes that use sham trusts and other sham entities.
According to the governments complaint, Bell helps his customers set up sham trusts and corporations that customers use illegally to eliminate or reduce their federal tax liabilities and to evade IRS collection efforts. The complaint also alleges that the defendants advise customers to falsely claim tax-exempt status for their businesses and to fabricate and inflate improper deductions in a fraudulent attempt to evade income and employment taxes.
The governments complaint seeks to prohibit defendants from selling any type of arrangement that advocates or facilitates tax evasion or non-compliance with the income tax laws. The complaint also seeks an order directing the defendants to notify their customers of the complaint and any injunction entered by the court, and to provide to the Department of Justice the names, mailing and e-mail addresses, phone numbers, and Social Security or employer identification numbers of any customers who had purchased the firms products.
Stopping tax-scam promotions is a high priority for the Justice Department, said Eileen J. OConnor, Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justices Tax Division. In addition to shutting down tax scams, we are committed to identifying those who, by using them, have risked civil penalties and, where appropriate, criminal prosecution.
Misuse of trusts tops the IRSs recent list of Dirty Dozen tax schemes. Information about the Dirty Dozen tax schemes is available at: http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=120803,00.html.
More information about the Justice Departments efforts against tax-scam promoters can be found at: http://www.usdoj.gov/tax/taxpress2004.htm. Information about the Justice Departments Tax Division can be found at http://www.usdoj.gov/tax.