Department of Justice Seal Department of Justice
MONDAY, MAY 9, 2005
(202) 514-2007
TDD (202) 514-1888


Scheme Allegedly Hid Assets from IRS in Offshore Trusts and Bank Accounts

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Eileen J. OíConnor, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Departmentís Tax Division; Edward H. Kubo, Jr., U.S. Attorney for the District of Hawaii; and Nancy Jardini, Chief, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation; announced today the arrest of John David Van Hove, also known as “Johnny Liberty.” On April 7, 2005, a federal grand jury sitting in Honolulu, Hawaii indicted Mr. Van Hove for corruptly endeavoring to obstruct and impede the due administration of the tax laws, willful failure to file individual income tax returns, and wire fraud. The indictment had been sealed pending the defendantís arrest.

“Buying into fraudulent schemes to reduce or eliminate your tax liabilities can have costly consequences," said Assistant Attorney General OíConnor. "You will still owe taxes, along with interest and penalties, and you will be at risk of criminal prosecution.”

“The IRS is focusing our enforcement efforts on abusive tax schemes that disadvantage every law abiding citizen,” said Jardini, IRS Chief, Criminal Investigation. “Today's arrest and charges reinforce our message that the IRS is working aggressively to enforce the tax laws.”

The indictment alleges that Mr. Van Hove operated a financial planning and investment advice business. He allegedly offered to his clients various schemes for hiding income and assets from the IRS. The schemes included:

The indictment also alleges that Mr. Van Hove was aware of IRS inquiries into his tax liabilities when he opened, controlled, and maintained ownership of nominee domestic and foreign bank accounts to conceal his income from the IRS. He allegedly earned $281,890 from his work with an organization known as the Institute for Global Prosperity, yet willfully failed to file income tax returns as required by law. He also allegedly solicited and obtained approximately $700,000 from clients, using a series of misrepresentations and false promises, including offering rates of return of up to 25% per month, or 300% per year. Most clients allegedly received no profits and lost their entire investments.

If convicted, the defendant faces the following maximum potential sentences:

The charges contained in the indictment are only allegations. In the American justice system, a person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty in a court of law.