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WASHINGTON, D.C. The Department of Justice announced that a member of the Institute of Global Prosperity (IGP) pled guilty to the crime of tax evasion today in Portland, Maine. Margo E. Jordan, a resident of Wilton, Maine, entered a guilty plea before United States District Judge D. Brock Hornby.

"People who transfer their income to foreign bank accounts still have to report it to the Internal Revenue Service and pay taxes on it," said Assistant Attorney General Eileen J. O'Connor of the Justice Department's Tax Division. "Participants in fraudulent tax schemes wind up owing penalties and interest to the IRS, and some of them face federal criminal prosecution."

According to the charging document filed in court, Jordan was a member of the Institute of Global Prosperity (IGP), an organization that hosted offshore seminars for promoters of abusive trusts and anti-tax schemes. IGP was also known by other names, such as Global Prosperity Marketing Group (GPMG) and Global Prosperity Group (GPG). Jordan and other members of IGP marketed and sold various IGP products, including an "education course" named "Global 1" priced at $1,250; a ticket to a three-day offshore seminar named "Global 2" priced at $6,250; and a ticket to a five-day offshore seminar named "Global 3" priced at $18,750. The Global 2 and Global 3 seminars brought together portions of the IGP membership to hear, among other things, presentations by individuals and organizations involved in the sale and operation of foreign trusts designed in part to conceal income from the IRS.

Jordan personally purchased a foreign trust named Aka Financial Group from an IGP trust promoter and opened two bank accounts using a false tax identification number, which she used to conceal the profits she earned from the sale of IGP products, according to documents filed in court. Jordan failed to file a tax return for 1997, although she earned substantial taxable income for that year.

The plea agreement requires Jordan to cooperate fully with the government regarding her involvement and the involvement of others with IGP and to cooperate with the IRS in the ascertainment, computation and payment of her correct federal income tax liability for 1997-2000. The maximum statutory penalties for tax evasion are imprisonment for not more than five years, a fine of $250,000, or both, as well as a three-year term of supervised release. No sentencing date has been set for Jordan.

This case was investigated by agents of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation.

Joseph Galasso, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation in Boston stated, "Identifying and combating actively promoted tax schemes is one of the highest priorities of the IRS."

Additional information about tax fraud schemes to watch out for can be found on the IRS Criminal Investigation website.