FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE |
WEDNESDAY, JULY 28, 2004
TDD (202) 514-1888
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT SUES TWO FLORIDIANS, ONE TEXAN,
IN EFFORT TO HALT ALLEGED TAX SCAMS
Court Papers Allege Losses to Treasury Exceed $7.5 Million
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Justice Department filed a civil injunction suit today seeking to stop the owners and operators of Tax Strategies, Inc., a LeHigh Acres, Florida-based company, from promoting tax schemes that have allegedly defrauded the Treasury of more than $7.5 million so far. In addition to filing suit against Tax Strategies, Inc., the government filed suit against Fred J. Anderson, of Marco Island, Florida; Deborah A. Martin, of LeHigh Acres, Florida; and Richard Alan Walters, of Arlington, Texas, each of whom was alleged to have been linked to Tax Strategies, Inc.
According to court papers filed in the case, the defendants help their customers set up sham charitable foundations, trusts, and corporations that customers use illegally to eliminate or reduce their reported federal tax liabilities. The government’s complaint seeks an injunction against the defendants prohibiting them from selling any type of asset-protection device, including trusts, limited liability companies or corporations, private foundations, or similar arrangements that advocate or facilitate tax evasion or noncompliance with the income tax laws.
In addition to seeking an injunction against future activities, the complaint also seeks an order directing the defendants to notify their customers of any court findings concerning the falsity of their products, and to provide to the Department of Justice the names, addresses, taxpayer identification numbers, telephone numbers, and e-mail addresses of any individuals or entities who had purchased the firm’s products. The complaint also asks the court to permanently bar Martin from working as a tax return preparer, and to order the defendants to provide to the Department of Justice the names, addresses, taxpayer identification numbers, telephone numbers, and e-mail addresses of any individuals or entities for whom they had prepared federal tax returns.
“Stopping tax-scam promoters and unscrupulous return preparers is a high priority for us,” said Eileen J. O'Connor, Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice's Tax Division. “In addition to shutting down such businesses, we are equally committed to identifying the customers who participated in such scams, who can expect to face civil penalties and, where appropriate, criminal prosecution.”
Misuse of trusts tops the IRS's recent list of “Dirty Dozen” tax schemes. Information about the “Dirty Dozen” tax scams is available at: http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=120803,00.html.
More information about the Justice Department's efforts against tax-scam promoters can be found at: http://www.usdoj.gov/tax/taxpress2004.htm. Information about the Justice Department's Tax Division can be found at http://www.usdoj.gov/tax.