It is an IRS scam run by some, Asians pretending to be the IRS, claiming the IRS is about to file a lawsuit against you. The sad thing is, some people will fall for this money hustle. It is a pure fraudulent scam and the IRS knows it. If you Google the number you will see hundreds of complaints….But no one in the Government will do anything to stop it. The IRS never calls and says they are going to sue you. The IRS does not have to. They have the power to “levy” on your accounts and the power to seize your assets, like your car or your boat. The IRS is the most powerful agency in the U. S. Government. They don’t need a bunch of amateur hustlers, they have the real power and will never call like this.
The IRS will spend hundreds of hours investigating good citizens that have fallen behind on their payroll taxes or on their income taxes, but not a dime chasing real crooks defrauding good citizens. As a criminal tax lawyer I am at a loss to understand why the IRS will do nothing to stop this fraud. I guess it is probably because the IRS is not getting scammed. As long as it is just good honest citizens getting scammed, the Government does not care. If you get a call from that number don’t bother to return it. They will give you a phony badge number and ask for your name. I called back three times just messing with their heads and finally got a polite accented response of “Go fu** yourself”. If you want to play investigator, play along and get payment information. It beats afternoon soap operas and is good for a laugh. If on any day thousands of people called them and took up their time with bogus calls, maybe they would switch the hustle to something else.
Some crimes can only be prosecuted in the State Courts and others in both the State and Federal Courts. Not all criminal defense lawyers practice in both systems.Peter Aiken and Robert Foley actually began their careers as a Federal agents and Peter Aiken a Federal prosecutor. There is a world of difference between the two systems. It is many respects, it is similar to the difference between college football and professional football. The rules of evidence and procedure in many respects are different. Also, the quality of the investigations and the experience of the prosecutors is greater in the Federal system and the deck is stacked even more against you if you are indicted and have to go before a Federal judge in Tampa, Ft. Myers or Orlando.
What types of cases are prosecuted in Federal Court?
Major drug offenses involving smuggling marijuana, importing cocaine and distributing heroin, opiates and synthetic drugs are often charged there. Grow houses and money laundering are also common offenses. If a case is investigated by the FBI, the IRS, Secret Service, the ATF or ICE, it will be prosecuted there. Civil rights prosecutions against law enforcement officers are filed in the Federal system. Income tax evasion and the filing of false tax returns are prosecuted by federal prosecutors. All Customs violations end up in Federal Court as well as most bomb and terrorism cases. The Federal system is the big league when it comes to difficulty of defense and particularly sentencing. Many of the cases against doctors and health care providers are prosecuted in Tampa and Ft. Myers under the wire and mail fraud statutes. If cash or a large amount of money is involved and has been seized the Feds will generally take the money and try and forfeit it as contraband or seize it under the money laundering laws. Weapons violations involving machine guns, silencers, sawed off shotguns will all go to Federal Court where the Federal sentencing guidelines will put a person away for decades in the Federal prison system. When a crime is committed, even if the State does the arrest, they can send it into the Federal Courts to get the benefit of the harsher sentences. If you are under a Federal investigation, get a Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer. You have to have an attorney who knows the Federal law and Federal system.
Will my Case Go Federal?
It depends on who you are, what you have done and how bad they want you. If you are black and the case involves crack, or if you have a long criminal history, the local cops may hand your case over to the Feds. They know that if you are convicted there, you will get more time. Many of the crimes carry harsh minimum mandatory sentences and there is no chance of parole. Career criminals end up in Federal Court. Racism does exist and if you are of color, there is a greater chance of being prosecuted federally, particularly on the West coast of Florida. Peter Aiken, as a federal criminal attorney has actually tried cases in Federal Court all over Florida as well as in other cities like Los Angeles, Brooklyn, Savannah, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Jacksonville, Miami, Fort Lauderdale and most recently in a civil rights trial in Fort Myers.
Child Pornography and the Federal Courts
In recent years, the Feds have become heavily involved in prosecuting kiddie porn cases. The Federal sentencing guidelines have tripled the time you are facing if convicted. The judges often have no choice because of certain minimum mandatory penalties. There are defenses to these types of cases. As an Internet sex crime lawyer and former Federal prosecutor, Peter Aiken had defended men accused of possession and distribution of child pornography in the Courts. Some of the cases can be won on technicalities and in some cases there is a factual defense dealing with knowledge of what was on the computer. If you are contacted by a Federal agent and they ask for your computer, never voluntarily give it up. Cyber crime prosecution is up and Google regularly sends information about certain images to ICAC for investigation. You may be under investigation and never know it until they show up at your door. If arrested, they may try and get what is known as pretrial detention. That means no bond. Having a qualified experienced Federal criminal attorney is critical to success.
If you are arrested and end up in Federal Court you need quality representation by an experienced criminal lawyer. Not all lawyers have actually tried cases there. Look into an attorney’s background before making a decision. Do not rely on advertising alone. You need to meet with the lawyer and ask questions about his or her background, history, track record and then make your decision.
The IRS is not your friend, no big surprise. If you have been contacted by an IRS Special Agent, you have a problem. The IRS is heavy handed and hammers tax violators to set an example for others who may be thinking about fudging on their taxes a little. Do not let them make an example out of you. The most common IRS tax crime if failure to file an income tax return. Procrastination can become a crime. Often people fall years behind or fail to file because they don’t have the money to pay. We may be able to solve this problem for you. Do not wait until the IRS is at your door. In many ways, this is like having a bad tooth. It will only get worse and never gets better. Call today and we may be able to get you up to date and avoid prosecution. Did you cheat on your tax return?
Hopefully, only you know the answer to that question. If you omitted income, claimed a phony deduction, listed a fictitious dependent or hid your money offshore you could have a real problem in the future. Our goal is to help you rectify your past bad decisions. If the IRS is hot on your trail or you have been contacted, do not let them interview you without first talking to Peter Aiken. As a former IRS Special Agent and Former Federal Tax prosecutor he has for over thirty years helped people solve their IRS problems. The IRS may misunderstand your situation or your error may have been a simple mistake and not an intentional act of cheating. Our firm works with local accountants and CPA firms to get you back in good graces with the IRS. Never put off until tomorrow what you really need to do today. Let us help you solve the problem before it gets out of hand and you find yourself in Federal Court facing the most powerful agency in the World. Are You Behind on Your State Sales Tax?
Did you know that the number one reason people get prosecuted in the State Courts for taxes is a sales tax violation? They call it grand theft, and for each month your report is in error or for each month you fail to file a sales tax return, you face a felony. That can add up real quick to time is State prison. It is easy to get behind. You have a small business. Times are tough. You collected the tax from customers but rent is due or there is some other pressing bill you just have to pay. This happens every day and before you know it, you are months or years behind. The Department of Revenue investigators will put you in jail for this. If you are behind or have been contacted by a State investigator, call us immediately. Do not try and talk your way out of your situation. It can land you in jail. We understand how you may have fallen behind but the State is often unsympathetic and comes down hard on people who have just fallen on tough times. We will represent you and try and keep the wolf from your door. Good people do make mistakes and problem solving is our business. Why do this alone get your records together and contact us. We have been doing this for years…
Many people for many reasons may fall behind in filing their income tax returns.
The most common reason is that they do not have the money to pay the income tax due. This is particularly true for the small businessman who has not made estimated tax payments. It is easy to panic when April 15th comes and put off filing. Before you know it, another year rolls by and now you have not filed for two years. It goes on and on and the fear of discovery will force people to fall behind for many years and run up thousands of dollars in tax due.
Failure to file a tax return is a crime and the IRS can put your in jail.
Filing a false return, tax evasion, is even worse.
Many people fudge on their returns and claim expenses that do not exist. Some tax return preparers, especially the ones that make tax refund loans, will claim phone tax deductions to run up the amount of the refund. It is the taxpayer himself, not the return preparer that they will come after. Do not file a false return just to get a bigger refund. Do not claim deductions that do not exist.
Over the years, I have represented many Doctors, Lawyers and other professionals for tax return mistakes. Having a secret offshore bank account in recent years has become a huge problem. Many professionals, sometimes ten and twenty years ago, opened an offshore account and now do not know what to do. Should they take advantage of the so called amnesty program or let it ride? It is a tough call for most ordinary people. Confession may be good for the soul but it is rarely a good thing when it comes to criminal law.
We have a major problem in this country with undocumented workers. On the one hand, we need them.
This is particularly true when it comes to people in the lawn maintenance business. It is next to impossible to get employees who are willing to work in the heat. Most of the jobs are filled by undocumented aliens. This presents a major problem for the employer. On the one hand, he desperately needs the workers and is willing to pay them. On the other hand, they are undocumented, have no social security numbers and no way to cash checks, even if paid by check. Our immigration system is broken…no big news there.
We need to provide a method for workers to come here. Rather than pay a “coyote” to bring them here illegally, why not just pay an entry fee to the United States, get a work visa that is renewable every two years, get a tax identification card and allow people to work and provide for their families. As it stands, our insane immigration system makes tax criminals out of American business people who desperately need the workers.
I hear that all the time. When April 15, 2016 rolls around this week, thousands of taxpayers will simply not file. Many do not have the money to send in and panic. They know that if they file and don’t send in enough money, the IRS will months from now be on their doorstep or at their bank seizing their account. Most of these people are self-employed and either did not send in estimated payments or simply ran out of money. In tough economic times it is easy to fall behind in tax payments. Not having money is not a crime.
Not filing a return when you are supposed to, is a crime.
Many people have not filed in years.
They are afraid that if they start filing again it will trigger an investigation.
My goal as a criminal tax lawyer is to keep people out of prison, get their back taxes paid if possible and get them back into compliance with the tax code. I personally think that a flat tax is the answer. The corporations do not pay their fair share. We desperately need tax reform. The tax code is incredibly complex. The average citizen cannot file their own tax return without making a mistake. The forms are impossible to understand and unless you have a computer program, filing a correct return is impossible. Doing a simple tax return is more complex and harder that a college math test.
April 15th 2016 is around the corner and if you did not file a return for last year, or years before that you may be afraid to file this year. Failure to file an income tax return is a Federal crime that can land you in Federal prison. Most of the time it is really not intentional. When the time comes to file, if you haven’t made your estimated tax payments, and are going to owe a bundle, you may be tempted not to file a return. Failure to file a tax return is a crime that repeats itself. Before you know it, you may be years behind. Most of the cases involve people who work for themselves and have small businesses or small corporations. Many people are in a cash business, have no employees, and the temptation is there. Over the years, I have represented doctors, lawyers and other professionals who simply got behind and did not know how to solve the problem. They are afraid that if they start filing, it will trigger an investigation into past years. I have represented boat captains, fishermen, farmers, lawn service businesses, detailers and other small businessmen who simply got way behind. This is particularly a problem for people who have hired illegals and paid them under the table. They cannot file because their payroll is in cash, paid to illegals and they cannot take the huge payroll deduction. They cannot file because their payroll is in cash, paid to illegals and they cannot take the huge payroll deduction. I once represented a 72 year old man who had never filed a return in his entire life.
The Herald Tribune just ran an article on the explosion in “flipping” houses exposing the latest statistics on the house flipping here in Sarasota.
Many of the houses in foreclosure were purchased in short sales from Banks and then flipped at huge profits within hours or days. Does that sound familiar? Are there inside deals where bank officials are letting the houses go at bargain prices only to be flipped at huge profits within weeks. This is really suspicious when no improvements or renovations are done. Are the same players involved in these deals? The FBI will surely be looking into this as well as Federal bank regulators. The banks may or may not be losing money on these deals. If it was a Freddie Mac loan and they let it go on a short sale, the bank may recover their full loan value and lose nothing. Who then gets defrauded? The taxpayers as usual. That is what gives rise to FBI jurisdiction.
Over the years, as a criminal lawyer, I have defended brokers, buyers, sellers and others involved in mortgage fraud. Fraud may be involved when the loan is taken out. This is the typical fraud on what they called “liar loans” where the buyer falsifies the loan application. This is mostly a thing of the past and the lenders have closed this loophole. The other way fraud can occur is in the foreclosure process where inside deals are made. These inside deals may involve kickbacks but often are done for the benefit of friends and relatives. Once again the flipping is causing an inflated market on homes and running up prices making it tough for the average home owner. What else is new?
It is only a matter of time before the bubble bursts again and only a matter of time for the FBI to once again become involved. If a deal sounds too good to be true, it generally is. It will be interesting to see if the Herald Tribune article prompts the Feds to take a look.
How could anyone say no? With another election coming, our political hopefuls are all bragging about their tax plans.As a criminal tax lawyer and former IRS special agent, I can tell you that it is long overdue. Our tax system is in a state of dysfunction. The Internal Revenue Code is now so complex, that no one can fill out their own return without buying a computer program to decipher the myriad of rules and regulations. The time for meaningful tax reform is now. But it is not going to happen. The special interests have too strong of a lobby. The big corporations and the filthy rich get too many breaks. In America, for the last twenty years the rich have gotten richer and the poor, poorer.
An unfair tax system promotes cheating. Just like a totally unreasonable boss promotes embezzlement, an unreasonable government promotes tax evasion. The average citizen feels like he is being screwed by the IRS and feels like it justifies filing a false return, fudging on deductions or in some cases, simply not filing a tax return. Tax evasion is a symptom of a deeper underlying problem with our entire tax system. People cheat because they feel the system is not fair. Our tax system has become an income redistribution system. Most people feel the working class is taxed and the money is given to those that do not work, and at the top, the rich people pay nothing.
I personally feel that taxation is necessary. We have to have national defense. We have to have roads, flood control, education and health care. What we need is a fair tax and a simplified return. I once proposed that the tax return should be no more than two pages. On the front you declare your income, all of it, regardless of type. To that number the same tax rate is applied to everyone. Equal taxation, oh my god! On the back page you fill in how you want the money spent. You could have categories like “education”, “health care”, “national defense”, “Infrastructure” and “national emergencies”,
This would solve the other problem of how our elected officials spend the money. The budget would be real simple. The people decide how the money is spent when they file their returns, not some political hack. Most people would like to see how their money is really spent. Most people would not cheat on their income taxes or sales tax if there was meaningful reform. How about a national sales tax? How about a consumption tax? We have a screwed up system. You get taxed when you earn the money. You get taxed again is you don’t spend it and simply have it in a savings account. You get taxed again when you die and try and give it to your kids. Let’s make this simple. Tax it one time and tax it fairly.
For thirty years I have defended income tax cases in Federal Court and Sales tax cases in the State courts. The system is not fair. The best way to reduce tax evasion is to make the system fair and just. Let your elected officials know, if you can find them or reach them. It is time for a tax revolution in America. What we really have is “taxation without representation”
It is so easy for the state to track purchases,that it makes it easy for them to identify stores that report less sales than they do purchases. It is a dead giveaway if the sales and purchases do not come close to matching. Many of the small businesses keep a double set of books or run two registers to under report true taxable sales. They under report actual sales and the State is deprived of the revenue. You can be prosecuted for filing false reports. It is a felony and you face time in prison. If you are not a United States Citizen and get convicted of a felony involving moral turpitude you can face deportation or be denied admission back into the United States if you return to your country for a visit. If you get a visit, a call or a letter from the Department of Revenue, and you think you may have a problem, you need to get immediate advice from an experienced criminal lawyer who has experience handling sales tax cases.