FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
FRIDAY, MARCH 25, 2005
TDD (202) 514-1888
FORMER HONOLULU ATTORNEY AGAIN CONVICTED OF TAX CRIMES
After Previous Conviction, Defendant Attempted to Hide Income and Assets from the IRS
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Eileen J. OConnor, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Departments Tax Division announced today that a federal jury in Honolulu, Hawaii, convicted Riccio M. Tanaka of willfully failing to file his 2002 individual income tax return by April 15, 2003, and of structuring the withdrawal of $130,000 in cash from his local First Hawaiian Bank account in order to prevent the filing of a currency transaction report. Sentencing of Mr. Tanaka is scheduled for August 29, 2005.
The maximum penalty for structuring a cash transaction is five years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. The maximum penalty for failure to file an individual income tax return is one year imprisonment, a $100,000 fine and costs of prosecution.
A former attorney who once worked in the state public defenders office and then had a private practice in Honolulu, Hawaii, Mr. Tanaka served a one-year sentence of imprisonment for failing to file his federal income-tax return for 1996 and for failing to pay over employment taxes. That sentence was nearing its end when Mr. Tanaka failed to file his 2002 income tax return.
According to evidence introduced at trial, Mr. Tanaka was paid $247,693.54 during the first part of 2002 for legal work he performed. In May 2002, one month before starting his one-year prison sentence, Mr. Tanaka made thirteen cash withdrawals of $10,000 each from his bank account over a ten-day period.
Federal law requires that banks report to the Internal Revenue Service any cash withdrawal in excess of $10,000. Evidence at trial showed that, on six of the ten days, Mr. Tanaka went to two different branches of the same bank, withdrawing $10,000 in cash at each branch. Structuring cash withdrawals to deter a bank from filing a report to the I.R.S. is a federal crime.
Assistant Attorney General OConnor thanked Tax Division Trial Attorney Brian D. Bailey, who prosecuted the case. She also thanked the special agents of the I.R.S. whose assistance was essential to the successful investigation and prosecution of the case.
Additional information about the Justice Departments Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found at http://www.usdoj.gov/tax.