Atlanta Businessman Pleads Guilty to Tax Fraud Charges
Reno, Nev. - An Atlanta businessman who conspired with Nevada author Lawrence Turpen to defraud the IRS by transferring business income to offshore corporations, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court to Conspiracy to Defraud the United States, announced Eileen J. O'Connor, Assistant Attorney General for the U.S. Department of Justice Tax Division, Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada, and Nancy Jardini, Chief of IRS Criminal Investigation.
ROBERT F. HOLLIDAY, of Atlanta, Georgia, waived Indictment and pleaded guilty to a single-count felony Criminal Information. He faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, and is scheduled to be sentenced on January 18, 2005, at 1:30 p.m. before United States District Court Judge David W. Hagen
ROBERT HOLLIDAY admitted in his plea agreement that he sought assistance from Reno resident and financial consultant Lawrence Turpen to illegally evade the assessment and collection of his income taxes. Turpen pleaded guilty in July to conspiring to defraud the IRS, and is scheduled to be sentenced in Reno on October 18, 2004. HOLLIDAY and Turpen set up Business Directions, Inc., a Nevada corporation, and Landmark Planning, Ltd., an Isle of Man corporation, and disguised the defendant's interest in them through the use of nominee individuals and resident agent services. HOLLIDAY and Turpen also conducted sham transactions to move income to the untaxed offshore corporation and to reduce or eliminate the corporate tax liabilities of the Nevada corporation. Defendant HOLLIDAY provided false information to his tax return preparer concerning Business Directions, Inc., and based in part upon this false information, false corporate income tax returns were prepared for the tax years 1996 through 2002, resulting in a total tax loss to the United States of more than $200,000. Defendant HOLLIDAY also repatriated the untaxed money from his offshore corporation through bogus loans.
"People who try to reduce or eliminate their tax liabilities by hiding their income and assets from the IRS are on a sure path to trouble," said Assistant Attorney General Eileen J. O'Connor. "They risk criminal prosecution by the Department of Justice and a lengthy stay in federal prison. And they will still owe the taxes, plus interest and penalties."
"The government will not tolerate abusive tax schemes that promote the use of offshore accounts to illegally escape taxes," stated Nancy Jardini, Chief, IRS Criminal Investigation. "Tax evasion is not a victimless crime. The honest, hardworking American taxpayer pays the price for these scams against the government."
The cases are being investigated by IRS Criminal Investigation, and prosecuted by U.S. Department of Justice Tax Division Trial Attorneys Caryn D. Mark and Edmund P. Power.