ASSET PROTECTION GURU CHARGED WITH TAX FRAUD
Prominent Fall City couple concealed more than $8 million to avoid taxes
WADE B. COOK, 56, an advocate and teacher of asset protection, stock market investing, real estate purchasing, and avoidance of income taxes, and his wife, LAURA M. COOK, 52, were charged today in Federal Court in Seattle with eight counts of tax fraud, conspiracy, and obstruction of justice. The crimes charged carry maximum penalties of three to fifteen years per count, fines of between $100,000 and $1,000,000, and costs of prosecution.
According to court papers, this case arose from WADE COOK's operation of Wade Cook Seminars, a wholly owned subsidiary of Wade Cook Financial Corporation, a publicly traded company. As part of that business, WADE COOK organized and lectured at hundreds of seminars on a wide range of financial and asset protection topics. COOK authored many books including Wall Street Money Machine, Wealth 101, Brilliant Deductions and Business by the Bible.
The criminal charges focus upon tax returns WADE and LAURA COOK filed for years 1998, 1999 and 2000. In each of those years they reported adjusted gross incomes of approximately $350,000. The charges indicate they did not report, and willfully concealed, receipt of approximately $8.9 million in royalties from WADE COOK's many books and seminars despite using such funds for their personal benefit. By not disclosing those royalties on their tax returns they received and utilized those monies tax free. As part of the tax fraud WADE and LAURA COOK created a fictitious limited partnership, called Never Ending Wealth, LP (NEW), which was in turn ostensibly owned by a type of tax exempt entity called a charitable remainder trust. Purportedly, the trust was for the benefit of the Mormon Church. In truth, the trust was simply a vehicle for WADE and LAURA COOK to fraudulently conceal their royalty income and spend it as they wished. No funds were left in the trust for the church.
The criminal charges include a count of obstruction of justice relating to the COOKs' effort to recharacterize their use of the royalty funds, after the fact, as loans.
Criminal charges are only allegations. Defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
This case was investigated by the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Robert Westinghouse and Kurt Hermanns. For further information, they can be reached at (206) 553-7970, or (253) 428-3800. Publicly filed documents in the case are available on the Web site for the United States Attorney's Office. For assistance, contact Emily Langlie, the Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney's Office, Western District of Washington, at (206) 553-4110.