FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
FRIDAY, MAY 9, 2003
TDD (202) 514-1888
FEDERAL COURT IN ILLINOIS ACTS TO STOP TAX SCAM
Fourth Victory for IRS Against Illinois Tax Fraud Promoters
WASHINGTON, D.C. - On May 2, a federal court in Peoria, Illinois permanently barred Robert Lawrence from promoting a fraudulent tax scam. The permanent injunction order entered by U.S. District Judge Joe Billy McDade directs Lawrence to stop organizing or selling abusive tax shelters, including “The Reliance Offense,” “UBTO,” and "similar schemes that advise or encourage taxpayers to attempt to evade the assessment or collection of their correct federal tax."
Within ten days of the order, Lawrence must provide government counsel with a complete list of "clients, members, and customers" who have purchased these schemes from him. Judge McDade's order requires Lawrence to contact these customers and inform them of the injunction. The order also directs Lawrence to stop making false statements about the tax laws, including statements that wages are not taxable income and that filing tax returns and paying taxes are voluntary.
“The Department of Justice is determined to stop tax-fraud promoters,” said Eileen J. O’Connor, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department’s Tax Division. “This injunction should help assure people who pay their taxes that those who don’t, or those who encourage others not to, are being brought to justice.”
Last week's injunction is the fourth that the government has obtained in a lawsuit brought against "The Joy Foundation" and its principals. In October 2002, similar injunctions were entered against the other defendants in the suit: Jack Malone, Yvonne Malone, and The Joy Foundation. According to papers filed by the Justice Department in the suit, The Joy Foundation and its principals advised customers not to file income tax returns, to improperly attempt to avoid tax withholding from wages, to transfer asssets to bogus trusts, and not to pay federal income tax.
For more information on the Department's investigation of The Joy Foudation, please visit the Department's website at: http://www.usdoj.gov/tax/txdv02121.htm.