Tax Attorney Sentenced to 8 Years for Tax Fraud Scheme

Donna Guerin, 52, former CPA and tax attorney for Jenkens and Gilchrist, received an 8 year prison sentence and will be required to pay $190 million in restitution for her participation in what the Treasury Department calls “the largest criminal tax fraud in history.” An Accounting Today article titled: “Tax Attorney CPA Sentenced to 8 Years for Massive Tax Fraud Scheme“ provides some details of this landmark case:

  • Guerin ran a massive 10-year scheme that created $7.3 billion in fraudulent tax deductions. To achieve these results, Guerin used an aggressive tax shelter that shielded the firm’s ultra-wealthy clients from paying their fair share of taxes. These deductions totaled more than $1.5 billion in phony losses with $92 million in actual losses to the U.S. Treasury. Assistant U.S. Attorney Stanley Okula said the IRS is out more than $200 million resulting from sustained activity that went on for years.
  • Guerin admitted she advised clients on how to conduct complex transactions that allowed them to wipe out financial gains. The article contends Guerin also provided opinion letters to her clients to assert that the deals were legitimate.
  • U.S. District Judge William Pauley in New York presided over the case. According to Accounting Today, it appears that besides restitution, Paley also directed Guerin to pay $200,000 before she surrenders to U.S. prison authorities and is requiring her to pay 20 percent of her gross income after she’s released from prison. The judge maintained that Guerin, who is both a CPA and a tax lawyer, violated her oaths to uphold the law, by helping her clients avoid paying taxes through shelters.

In a recent post, I show how IRS criminal tax cases and sentences increasing over the last ten years. If you were wondering how tough the government is getting on tax crime, here are some points to consider:

  • Criminal tax and tax related cases have increased 1 ½ times over the last 10 years.
  • The average sentence for tax and tax related cases in 2011 it was 25 months. The sentence length has increased nearly 1 ½ times in 10 years.

Donna Guerin and her cronies are tax professionals who knew better. They broke the law, got caught and will pay the price for their crimes. My point here is to remind those who may be avoiding the IRS due to an IRS levy, a tax lien or IRS seizure, to take steps now to resolve these tax issues before they get to the criminal phase.

The best strategy for your IRS tax problems is to contact Certified Tax Resolution Specialist or tax attorney because they can file an IRS collection appeal to remove your tax lien, especially if there’s a levy. They can also help to negotiate a suitable IRS tax settlement that can keep you out of prison, and help to resolve your tax problems for good.

More Tax Help, IRS News and Tax Relief Tips:

  1. Michael Rozbruch Interviewed in Opportunist Magazine
  2. Finding Tax Help for IRS Tax Debt
  3. Ask the Certified Tax Specialist – Small Business Back Taxes
  4. Nicolas Cage Pays $6 Million-Tax Lien Released
  5. New Changes to Offer in Compromise – More Flexibility

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