According to a press release issued this week by the U.S. Justice Department’s Tax Division, three California residents were sentenced to prison for willfully failing to report secret foreign bank accounts located in Switzerland and Israel.
According to the DOJ, the individuals willfully failed to file with the Department of Treasury Reports of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts regarding accounts that they maintained and controlled, many for well over a decade. These secret offshore accounts purportedly held millions of dollars in assets.
“They moved their funds from bank to bank and country to country in an effort to escape scrutiny,” said Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division. “The clear message is: the days when a U.S. citizen can safely stash money in an undeclared foreign account are over,” Goldberg stated.
“Today’s sentencing should reassure every honest, hardworking American taxpayer that schemes designed to conceal income in offshore accounts will not be tolerated,” said Chief Richard Weber of Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI). “IRS-CI will continue to devote resources to investigate individuals who engage in these types of schemes for the purpose of personal gain by defrauding the U.S. Treasury and the American taxpayer.”
In addition to the term of prison imposed, one individual was ordered to serve one year of supervised release and to pay $337,443 in restitution. He also agreed to pay a civil penalty of $2,674,329.
The second individual was ordered to serve one year of supervised release and to pay $243,019 in restitution. He also agreed to pay a civil penalty of $1,325.121.
The third individual was ordered to serve one year of supervised release and to pay $197,840 in restitution. He also agreed to pay a civil penalty of $951,607.
Contact an FTC defense law attorney to discuss recent federal government actions regarding offshore asset protection structures, as well as the degree to which U.S. and foreign authorities may cooperate in investigating cross-border conduct that impacts United States consumers.
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