BELLEVUE LAWYER INDICTED FOR MAKING FALSE STATEMENTS AND OBSTRUCTING JUSTICE IN TAX AUDIT
Lawyer Allegedly Lied to IRS Agent and Destroyed Records of Unreported Income
FELIX LANDAU, 61, a resident of Redmond, Washington and a lawyer practicing in Bellevue, Washington was indicted last week for three counts of Making a False Statement and one count of Obstruction of Justice in connection with an Internal Revenue Service Audit of his income taxes. According to the indictment, LANDAU, a sole practitioner, significantly under reported his gross receipts on his income taxes in 2000, 2001 and 2002. When the IRS started investigating in 2003, the indictment alleges that LANDAU lied to an IRS agent and destroyed records the agent had requested. If convicted LANDAU faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five years and a $250,000 fine on each count. LANDAU will be arraigned in U.S. District Court in Seattle today, Friday March 14, 2008, at 2:30.
According to the indictment returned by the grand jury, in 2000, LANDAU under reported his income by about $87,000 thus avoiding an additional $16,000 in taxes. The next year, 2001, he under reported his income by about $99,000 avoiding an additional $17,000 in income taxes. In 2002, LANDAU under reported his income by $75,000 thus avoiding an additional $19,000 in taxes. In January 2003, an IRS agent asked LANDAU to provide a variety of records related to his billing and bank records. LANDAU was supposed to supply the records by March 2003. In February 2003, LANDAU moved many of the records to a Bellevue storage locker. When questioned about those records, LANDAU allegedly said he no longer had them. LANDAU also failed to report one bank account into which he had deposited gross receipts from his law practice. Further, LANDAU claimed cash deposits into one of his other accounts were funds from his new fiance. The indictment alleges the deposits were fees from various clients. Finally, in March 2003, after lying to the IRS agent, the indictment charges LANDAU hired a company to shred fifty bankers boxes of records in his storage locker.
LANDAU is a licensed attorney and a member of the Washington State Bar Association. According to the indictment LANDAU practices personal injury law, family law and criminal defense.
The charges contained in the indictment are only allegations. A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The case is being investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Mary K. Dimke and Andrew Friedman. For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110.