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Tax advisor allegedly helps hundreds commit IRS refund fraud December 27, 2010

Posted by jefhenninger in News.
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On promotional flyers spread through the United States and Canada, Ron Brekke called himself a U.S. Filing Agent, a kind of a tax guru who could get you out of debt by helping fill out the right forms.   But federal prosecutors said Brekke’s methods ended up with hundreds of people filing more than three-quarters of $1 billion in frivolous IRS claims.  Brekke, who lived in an office building in California, would hold seminars and correspond by email with people, charging $50 to $75 in fees for his help, according to a flyer that was submitted as evidence in a previous trial.

Allegedly, Brekke would help people fill out IRS 1099-OID forms, telling them to list their total debt as the amount they expected as a tax refund as federal tax withheld.  It’s a scam first identified in 2008 as Form 1099-OID Fraud. The IRS cautions taxpayers that the fraud is “disguised as a debt payment option for credit cards or mortgage debt”. The fraud is also marketed as a way to reduce taxes or pay outstanding tax liabilities. It involves the filing of Form 1099-OID, Original Issue Discount, and/or bogus financial instruments such as bonded promissory notes or sight drafts.

In October 2009, that teller caught Donald Mason, one of Brekke’s students, trying to cash a refund check worth $359,926.80 at a Bellingham Bank of America, according to a evidence submitted during Mason’s trial.  Mason was found guilty and sentenced to 33 months in prison.  Another person using Brekke’s method, John Chung, pled guilty to a similar crime and spent one year, one day in prison.

After those convictions, federal investigators went after Brekke, who they said was still holding financial seminars, despite knowing that Mason and Chung had been captured.  This just really shows how some people really buy their own BS.  At the first sign of trouble, he should have hired an attorney.

Story is here.

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Criminal Charges Filed Against City Councilman E.W. Cromartie March 9, 2010

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A three-count felony information has been filed charging ERNEST W. CROMARTIE, II, age 64, of Columbia. The information charges CROMARTIE (who has agreed in a plea agreement filed contemporaneously with the information to waive the presentation of an indictment to a grand jury) with one count of tax evasion, a violation of Title 26, United States Code, Section 7201, and two counts of structuring monetary transactions to evade reporting requirements, violations of Title 31, United States Code, Sections 5324(a)(3) and 5324(d).

Former New Jersey mayor and his wife plead guilty to tax evasion January 21, 2010

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Leonard Kaiser admitted that while he was mayor of North Arlington he and wife Barbara took about $30,000 from his re-election campaign fund for personal use without reporting it as income.  Both pleaded guilty to one count of attempted tax evasion.  Kaiser also served as executive director of the Bergen County Utilities Authority and as a commissioner of the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission.

I thought it was rather oldd that they both had to plea out.  In other cases I’ve seen, the Government allows one spouse to fall on the sword while the other walks away. 

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Brick, NJ man found guilty of tax evasion January 8, 2010

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John F. Mostler of Brick, NJ was found guilty Thursday of four counts of willfully attempting to evade and defeat paying federal income tax due on more than $470,000 earned over four years.  

Story is here.