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The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) recently announced the arrest of a man for violating federal tax law. The government states the man used shell companies to avoid paying tax obligations on over $1 million in assets.

Government builds their case

According to the indictment, the accused willfully attempted to avoid paying his tax debt to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This was allegedly achieved by hiding assets within shell companies from 2008 through 2012. According to the agency, the accused directed payments for his professional work to the shell companies, effectively reducing the value of his personal income.

The key to these allegations is the fact the agency is pursuing a “willful” violation. If substantiated, such a violation can come with much more significant penalties compared to violations that do not have this key element. In this case, the accused faces two charges of willful violations. If convicted, he could receive up to 10 years imprisonment.

Another interesting fact in this case: the accused was an experienced tax and estate planning attorney. This is important because the government could use the accused’s education and experience to help support the allegation that he knew what he was doing — further supporting the contention the violation was a willful disregard for the law.

Due to the severity of the penalties that accompany a conviction of this nature, those who face these types of allegations are generally wise to seek legal counsel to tailor a defense strategy to their specific set of accusations.

The accused heads to court

The accused maintained his innocence and headed to court to present his case earlier this year. Earlier this month, the court ruled in favor of the government. The court sentenced the man to five of the possible ten years imprisonment and $1.5 million in restitution.