New York Attorney Found Guilty of Subscribing to False Federal Tax Returns
An attorney licensed to practice in New York was found guilty yesterday of three counts of subscribing to false tax returns for the 2007, 2008 and 2009 tax years following a bench trial before U.S. District Judge Vincent L. Briccetti, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Caroline D. Ciraolo for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara for the Southern District of New York, announced today.
Matthew Libous was found not guilty by Judge Briccetti of false subscription counts for his 2010, 2011 and 2011 amended returns and not guilty of one count of obstructing the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
“Yesterday’s verdict was a just conclusion for Matthew Libous’s repeated, willful failure to report all his income to the IRS over a period of years,” said U.S. Attorney Bharara. “As a practicing attorney, Libous knew better. My office will continue to make every effort to ensure that everyone pays his or her fair share of taxes.”
“Yesterday’s conviction should serve as clear notice that the Tax Division, working with IRS Criminal Investigation and the Offices of the U.S. Attorneys, will vigorously enforce our nation’s criminal tax laws and prosecute those individuals, including legal professionals, who willfully file false federal tax returns,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Ciraolo.
According to the superseding indictment and the evidence presented at trial, Libous engaged in the practice of law from 2006 through 2008. Libous deposited the fees he received into his personal bank account but never reported them on his tax return. In 2008, Libous became a minority partner and manager of Wireless Construction Solutions LLC (WCS), a company that maintained cellular telephone towers. Libous caused WCS to pay thousands of dollars in his personal expenses on his behalf from 2008 to 2011. In returning yesterday’s verdict following a three-day bench trial, Judge Briccetti said that he found that Libous willfully failed to report the income from his law practice in 2007 and 2008, and the income he received as a result of his causing WCS to pay his personal expenses in 2008 and 2009.
Libous faces a statutory maximum sentence of three years in prison for each of the false subscription convictions. The maximum potential sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge. Sentencing is scheduled for April 29.
This prosecution is being handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, White Plains Division. Assistant U.S. Attorney James McMahon for the Southern District of New York and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Kameros of the Tax Division are in charge of the prosecutions.