News and Press Releases

News and Press Releases

Wirth tax preparer pleads guilty to preparing a false corporate tax return for The Wirth Companies

May 14, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS—Earlier today in federal court, a local certified public account and tax preparer pleaded guilty to preparing a false corporate tax return for The Wirth Companies. Michael James Murry pleaded guilty to one count of preparing a false corporate tax return. On August 17, 2011, Murry was indicted along with Jeffrey John Wirth and Holly Claire Damiani. Murry entered his plea before United States District Court Judge Ann D. Montgomery.

In his plea agreement, Murry admitted that on September 15, 2006, he aided and advised the preparation and submission of a false corporate income tax return for The Wirth Companies (“TWC”), a commercial real estate development and management business. From 1991 through 2010, Murry was TWC’s primary tax return preparer as well as the tax return preparer for Wirth, who owns TWC, and Damiani, who was Wirth’s wife at the time. In addition, Murry admitted that on the 2005 corporate tax return, he reflected $0 in property distributions to Wirth and his then-wife, even though he knew TWC had provided substantial monetary distributions to the pair.

For his crime, Murry faces a potential maximum penalty of three years in prison. Judge Montgomery will determine his sentence at a future hearing, not yet scheduled.

On May 11, 2012, Wirth pleaded guilty to conspiring to evade paying federal taxes. He is awaiting sentencing. On May 3, 2012, Damiani pleaded guilty to one count of filing a false federal individual income tax return. She too is awaiting sentencing.

This case is the result of an investigation by the IRS-Criminal Investigation Division. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys William J. Otteson and Christian S. Wilton.

Per U.S. Department of Justice policy, the U.S. Attorney’s Office is not allowed to provide the age and city of residence for defendants charged in criminal tax cases.

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