FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE |
TUESDAY, MARCH 16, 2004
TDD (202) 514-1888
FEDERAL COURT PERMANENTLY BARS MICHIGAN MAN FROM SELLING BOGUS TRUSTS AND PREPARING TAX RETURNS
Robert Mosher Also Barred from Preparing Returns and Representing Customers before IRS
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Justice Department announced today that a federal court in Grand Rapids, Michigan yesterday entered an order permanently barring Robert L. Mosher, who also does business as Mosher Enterprises, from promoting a tax scam involving sham trusts and preparing tax returns. The order, to which Mosher consented, also prohibits him from representing customers before the IRS and requires him to inform his past and current customers of the injunction. Additionally, the order prohibits Mosher, who lives in Cedar Springs, Michigan, from “intimidating, threatening or harassing any past or current customer who cooperates with the government.” Mosher must notify his customers of the court order, called a permanent injunction, within ten days.
“A top priority of the Justice Department’s Tax Division is to stop the promotion of tax scams,” said Eileen J. O’Connor Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Tax Division. “Each injunction brings us closer to being able to assure law-abiding taxpayers that those who would cheat them are not getting away with it.”
Evidence presented during a court hearing in the case last year showed that Mosher helped customers illegally reduce their reported tax liabilities by selling them sham trusts to hide income. According to the court papers, Mosher also prepared tax returns for customers claiming improper deductions. Court filings also showed that IRS audits of Mosher’s customers yielded an average additional tax bill of over $13,000 per customer per year. More information about this case is available at http://www.usdoj.gov/tax/txdv03588.htm.
Misuse of trusts tops the IRS’s most recent list of “Dirty Dozen” tax schemes. In a recent publication, “IRS Updates the ‘Dirty Dozen’ for 2004: Agency Warns of New Scams,” the IRS warns: “Taxpayers should be aware that abusive trust arrangements will not produce the tax benefits advertised by their promoters and that the IRS is actively examining these types of trust arrangements.” More information about the “Dirty Dozen” tax scams is available at: http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=120803,00.html.
This injunction is the latest in a series of orders the Justice Department has won in its effort to shut down tax-scam promoters. Information about similar lawsuits can be found at:
Tax scams cost the federal government billions of dollars every year. According to a General Accounting Office report (GAO-02-733) issued last year, stepped-up efforts by the Justice Department and Internal Revenue service to crack down on these scams have led to increasing numbers of convictions of tax-fraud promoters. The report can be found online at: http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d02733.pdf.
Michael S. Raum, a trial attorney in the Justice Department’s Tax Division, represented the United States in this case. Current or past customers of Mosher’s can call the Grand Rapids office of the IRS at (616) 235-2376. More information about the Justice Department’s Tax Division can be found at http://www.usdoj.gov/tax.