Justice Department Sues to Stop Attorney From Promoting Nationwide Charitable Giving Tax Scheme
The United States filed a civil complaint seeking to permanently bar Michael L. Meyer, of Southwest Ranches, Florida, from providing federal tax advice for compensation because Meyer allegedly promotes, organizes, and executes a national charitable giving tax scheme that has cost the United States Treasury more than $35 million. The complaint alleges that Meyer executes his scheme through three bogus charities that he controls. The United States also seeks to disgorge the fees that Meyer received from the scheme.
According to the complaint filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Meyer, an attorney licensed in Kentucky and Indiana, advises scheme participants to claim unwarranted charitable deductions for purported contributions to one of three bogus charities that Meyer controls. The complaint alleges that the purported donations are made on paper only and the participants never actually surrender dominion or control of the donated property to the charities. Some of the purported contributions allegedly consist solely of backdated promissory notes created by Meyer as well as fabricated intellectual property. The complaint alleges that Meyer prepares baseless appraisals and false federal tax forms to facilitate the scheme.
Meyer allegedly markets his charitable giving tax scheme nationwide through financial planners and CPAs, and he executes every material aspect of the scheme. The complaint alleges that Meyer sells his scheme by making demonstrably false statements about his experience and credentials, including falsely claiming that he is a licensed Certified Public Accountant and Certified Valuation Analyst, and by making false statements about the legality of his tax scheme.
Return preparer fraud, abusive tax shelters, and transactions involving fake charities are three of the IRS’s Dirty Dozen Tax Scams for 2018, and taxpayers seeking a tax return preparer or a tax adviser should remain vigilant. Information about these cases is available on the Justice Department website. An alphabetical listing of persons enjoined from preparing returns and promoting tax schemes can be found on this page. If you believe that one of the enjoined persons or businesses may be violating an injunction, please contact the Tax Division with details.