Omaha Man Sentenced for Conspiracy to Defraud the IRS
United States Attorney Deborah R. Gilg announced that United States District Court Judge Joseph F. Bataillon sentenced Michael D. Haffke, age 50 of Omaha, Nebraska, to one year and one day of imprisonment following his conviction for conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service. Haffke was further ordered to serve two years of supervised release following his release from prison and to serve 100 hours of community service.
From January 1, 2000, through on or about December 31, 2007, Haffke participated in a conspiracy which was designed to hide or remove his name from income producing assets and to attempt to evade personal tax liabilities. As part of the conspiracy, Haffke created in excess of 40 nominee entities in order to purport to claim ownership of assets that were actually owned and controlled by Haffke. A limited partnership called The Rock Place was created and the partnership purported to lease equipment, real estate and improvements from the nominee entities for the purpose of artificially increasing costs in order to reduce income of the partnership which would have been attributed to Haffke for tax purposes. However, monies from these purported lease payments were deposited into nominee bank accounts in Colorado which funds were ultimately distributed to Haffke for his own personal use. As a further part of this scheme, Haffke did not file any personal tax returns during the years 2003 through 2008. The IRS determined the tax loss associated with this scheme was $422,350.00.
In 2012, Haffke did file personal tax returns with the IRS for tax years 2003 through 2007 and did pay the taxes owed. As part of the plea agreement, Haffke has agreed to work with the IRS to determine what additional taxes might be due and owing and to satisfy those tax liabilities.
This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division. With respect to this case, Sybil A. Smith, Special Agent in Charge, stated, “Placing income and property in the names of nominee corporations to conceal the true facts from the IRS is not tax planning; it’s criminal activity.”