FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
FRIDAY, JULY 22, 2003
TDD (202) 514-1888
FEDERAL COURT BARS CALIFORNIA ATTORNEY
FROM PROMOTING ABUSIVE TAX SHELTERS
Court Stops Man Who Falsely Advises Customers Not To Pay Federal Taxes
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Late yesterday, a federal court in Los Angeles permanently barred California attorney Eduardo Marmolejo Rivera from promoting several abusive tax schemes. The court also ordered Rivera to provide the government with the identities of his customers and to notify those customers of the court order.
"The Department of Justice and the IRS are determined to shut down the promotion of tax evasion schemes," said Eileen J. O'Connor, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department's Tax Division. "People who encourage others to violate the law will be stopped and brought to justice."
The court found that Rivera sold to customers "opinion letters" containing frivolous arguments, including "that the federal income tax is voluntary, that Americans employed in the private sector are exempt from federal income tax and do not need to file federal returns, and that the IRS has no authority to assess or collect taxes." The court also found that Rivera represented customers before the IRS for the purported purpose of "determining their non-liability for all federal taxes" and that he directed customers "to resist IRS examination and collection efforts with copies of his opinion letters."
According to court papers filed by the Government, the IRS has asserted that six Rivera customers identified by the agency owe over $9.5 million in tax, interest, and penalties.
The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California worked in cooperation with the Justice Department's Tax Division on this case. More information about the case is available at http://www.usdoj.gov/tax/txdv03224.htm.
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