Wesley Snipes was once best known for his work as an actor, particularly for his role as the vampire-hunting Marvel superhero, Blade. Unfortunately, when Snipes makes headlines these days, it’s usually due to his ongoing tax battle with the IRS. Continue reading
They say only two things in life are absolutely certain: death and taxes. Attempting to avoid the latter yielded difficult life lessons for a former investment advisor booked for wire fraud and tax evasion. You know you’re in trouble when cheating death seems like the better option.
No happy holiday came for Donna J. Tucker of Roanoke, Virginia, in December of 2014. The former investment advisor pled guilty to wire fraud and tax evasion, was promptly sentenced to 60 months in jail, and was slapped with a $976,485 restitution fee.
Between 2007 and 2013, Tucker was caught stealing funds from two separate client accounts. First, to obtain a line of credit, she forged the signatures to access an elderly couple’s joint investment account. Through her firm’s banking division, Tucker claimed to be working in the clients’ interest; though, she obtained no consent from her victims. Shortly after, Tucker wire transferred $295,000 from another victim’s account to her own. She then used the funds for her own financial gains. But the plot thickens.
In order to prevent fraudulent schemes from coming to light, Tucker took calculated measures to ensure her victims were unaware of her actions. To keep unauthorized transfers under wraps, Tucker ordered staff to put victims on an electronic delivery system for account statements. She also falsified statements to victims and employees as well as doctored forms to complete the nefarious acts.
As if Tucker weren’t digging a deep enough hole, she finished off her crime spree by reporting a taxable income worth less than half of what she was really making. Tucker’s false report incurred $115,000 in additional taxes owed to the US government! There would be no hiding from the IRS this time!
We share an IRS Terror Tale every month on our blog and email newsletter. Be sure to subscribe http://bit.ly/186Y0hg
Owner of S&S Drywall, Stephen Gregory Nagy thought he was being quite inventive when he came up with his scheme to not only cheat the IRS but also his employees back in 2010. After the IRS assessed his company, they determined that Nagy owed more than $480,000 in unpaid federal employment taxes, penalties, and interests, Nagy came up with a plan that he would hire several undocumented workers and pay them a small portion of the prevailing wage. He also demanded that those same workers pay him a large portion of cash in return—which went unreported.
From there the business owner forced his employees (via intimidation and threats) to file for unemployment benefits—even though they continued to work for him. He gave them cash to make up for the difference in salary, which was not reported—nor were the federal income taxes, social security, or Medicare taxes paid. In essence, the State of Oregon paid part of the employees’ salaries.
In order to hide the cash, Nagy created shell companies in his sister’s name—transferring business and personal assets. Considering the fact that Nagy was already known by the IRS, it’s mind boggling how he thought he wouldn’t get caught! Of course, he did, in September of 2014, when he was sentenced to 19 months in a federal prison and ordered to pay more than $480,000 in restitution.
His former employees now have no social security benefits or Medicare. Read more in my February eNewsletter and be sure to subscribe to receive “IRS Terror Tale of the Month” tales and tax resolution business and marketing tips!
“Like father like son” the saying goes, but for the Pflueger family, maybe that’s not such a good thing. Father, James Pflueger, and son, Charles Alan Pflueger own Pacific Honda (formerly Pflueger Honda), one of the biggest car dealerships in Honolulu. While they might know how to wheel and deal on selling a car, cheating the IRS on their cut is just bad business.
Back in 2010, both James Pflueger and Alan Pflueger were indicted on charges of “Conspiracy to defraud the United States for the purpose of obstructing the Internal Revenue Service in its collection of taxes.” On October 11, 2014 Alan Pflueger was sentenced to head to federal prison this January for 15 months, as well as pay a $40,000 fine – $26,000 in unpaid taxes and perform 200 hours of community service for owing the IRS up to $1 million in back taxes.
This wasn’t the first time either of the Plunger’s was in trouble with the IRS. Their IRS problems have as many twists and turns as an autocross race track—interestingly enough both father and son are race car drivers. Back in 2005, Alan pled guilty to filing a false income tax return. His father, James Pflueger, was also implicated in the case, as well as another private fund hiding scandal. It seems James sold property in Los Angeles, California and placed the estimated $14 million profits in a bank account in Switzerland, failing to disclose the bank account to the IRS.
In the most recent scandal, while Pflueger junior appears to be suffering real consequences, James escaped substantial repercussions, again, this time placing the blame for any apparent transgressions on his financial consultant, Dennis Duban (who is facing significant charges as well).
While Alan Pflueger soon heads off to jail he says, “It feels good to take responsibility for the mistakes that I’ve made and I’m looking forward to doing good things.” He will have some time to contemplate which road to take once he’s out of prison.