News and Press Releases

Leslie W. Jacobs was sentenced after previously pleading guilty to making and subscribing false personal income tax returns

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 17, 2012

Mike Tobin, Public Affairs Specialist, (216) 622-3651

Leslie W. Jacobs was sentenced to 1 year and 1 day in prison, as well as an additional four months, less one day, of home confinement, and ordered to pay a $10,000 fine after previously pleading guilty to making and subscribing false personal income tax returns, said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.

The sentence was imposed by United States District Judge Benita Y. Pearson, in Youngstown, who also ordered that Jacobs serve a one-year term of supervised release following his prison term, during which he will serve his period of home confinement. Jacobs will self-report to a correctional facility yet to be determined.

Jacobs, age 67, currently resides in Gates Mills, Ohio, after previously residing in Shaker Heights, according to court records.

Jacobs pleaded guilty last year to a criminal information charging him with making and subscribing false personal income tax returns for the years 2004 through 2007.

According to the information, plea agreement, and other court filings, Jacobs, a partner in the Cleveland law firm of Thompson Hine, LLP, filed joint income tax returns, on which he falsely inflated his law firm business expense deductions and, as a result, falsely understated his law firm partnership income by a total of approximately $252,257.

Among the deductions that Jacobs improperly took were business expenses for which he was reimbursed by the firm; memberships at clubs, including the Chagrin Valley Hunt Club, the Castalia Trout Club, the Union Club and the Harvard Club, that he knew were not deductible; several meals and entertainment charges at the clubs that were personal in nature, including their son's wedding rehearsal dinner at the Hunt Club, the florist charge at the club and a Valentine's Day party at the club, according to court documents.

Jacobs prepared the tax returns without the assistance of a professional tax preparer. Each year he listed his law firm partnership profit on a Schedule E, as reported to him by the law firm on a Schedule K-1. From that amount, he claimed business expense deductions he knew to be falsely inflated, resulting in an understated net amount of law firm partnership income he reported both on the Schedule E and on the income section of his return.

The government’s case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys John M. Siegel and Rebecca C. Lutzko, following an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, Cleveland, Ohio, and a federal grand jury.

Under existing tax law, a person convicted of a criminal tax offense, in addition to whatever sentence is imposed, is also required to pay the tax determined to be due as well as interest and civil penalties that may be assessed. Before the sentencing hearing, Jacobs delivered a check for $75,385 to pay the amount of taxes stipulated as owing for 2004 through 2007 for purposes of the criminal case. Jacobs was ordered to cooperate with the IRS in the determination and payment of any additional civil taxes, interest, and penalties.

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