Las Vegas Personal Injury Lawyer Sentenced to Five Years in Prison for Tax Evasion
Las Vegas, Nev. – A personal injury attorney who was convicted last year of tax evasion and owes almost $4 million to the IRS, was sentenced today to five years in federal prison, announced Greg Brower, U.S. Attorney for the District of Nevada, IRS Criminal Investigation, and the Department of Justice Tax Division.
"The length, breadth, and complexity of this scheme and the gravity of the offense warranted a severe penalty," said U.S. Attorney Brower. "Despite earning more than $7 million between 1996 and 2006, Mr. Botha paid just over $230,000 in taxes and went to great lengths to hide his assets from the IRS."
Edmund C. Botha, 47, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Kent Dawson. Botha was also ordered to serve three years of supervised release and to pay $685,505 in restitution to the IRS as a condition of supervised release. Botha was convicted by a federal jury on September 25, 2008, of one count of willful evasion of payment of income tax for the tax years 1998 through 2001.
According to the court records and evidence presented at trial, Botha evaded the taxes by purchasing luxury vehicles in his ex-girlfriend's name; transacting all of his business in cash and cashier's checks; and entering into a sham child support agreement requiring him to pay about $20,000 per month for two children. Testimony at trial showed that Botha conducted over $2 million in cash transactions from 1998 through 2003, and paid his rent, utilities, payroll, and other business expenses with cash or cashier's checks. Evidence further showed that Botha purchased more than 10 vehicles worth more than $400,000 over a six-year period in his ex-girlfriend's name, while at the same time having only a 15-year-old car with over 100,000 miles on it in his name.
"Let this be a warning to anyone willfully evading their taxes while living a lavish lifestyle," said Paul A. Camacho, Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation. "Not even a skilled attorney can hide from IRS Criminal Investigation. The vast majority of taxpayers are honest and we owe it to them to vigorously go after those individuals who thumb their nose at paying their fair share of taxes."
Botha is released on bond, and must self-report to federal prison by November 16, 2009.
The case was investigated by IRS Criminal Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Russell E. Marsh and Trial Attorney Ellen Quattrucci of the U.S. Department of Justice Tax Division