Thursday, June 4, 2009

DOJ Adds Another Notch in Its Abusive Tax Shelter Belt - BDO Vice-Chair Pleads re J&G Shelter

The Government announced here yesterday a guilty plea by Charles W. Bee, a former vice-chair of BDO Seidman, with respect to a Jenkins & Gilchrist shelter marketed by BDO Seidman. The counts to which Bee pled were (i) conspiracy (the standard count in these cases), (ii) tax evasion with respect to a client's reporting of the the shelter, and (iii) giving false deposition testimony. The following is the key part of the press release:
Bee knew that the tax shelter transactions would be allowed by the IRS only if there was a reasonable possibility of a profit. Bee also knew that, given the costs and fees to the clients, and the nature and duration of the transactions, the tax shelters had no reasonable possibility of resulting in a profit. In addition, Bee knew that the clients who purchased the tax shelter had no non-tax business reasons for entering into the transactions, and that the fees were set as a percentage of the tax loss sought by the clients. To make it appear that the tax shelter clients had the requisite business purpose and that there was a possibility of profit, Bee and his co-conspirators reviewed and approved the use of a legal opinion letter issued by J&G that contained false and fraudulent representations purportedly made by the clients about their motivations for entering into the transactions. Bee and other TSG members also developed a consulting agreement containing false and fraudulent statements to disguise the fact that the fees clients would be charged by BDO Seidman were solely for the tax shelters. Finally, Bee and his co-conspirators caused the clients to file false and fraudulent tax returns incorporating the supposed tax shelter benefits. In total, the fraudulent tax shelters implemented by Bee, BDO Seidman, J&G, and the financial institution that assisted them, caused clients to report over $1 billion in false and fraudulent tax losses, resulting in the evasion of over $200 million in taxes.

Bee also specifically admitted criminal responsibility based on the sale by BDO of a tax shelter known as the "short option" transaction to one client, who was charged fees of approximately $133,000 by BDO Seidman and $201,000 by J&G. The short option tax shelter purportedly generated losses sufficient to offset the taxes due on $6.7 million the client had received from a stock sale. In fact, the short option transaction had the reasonable possibility only to net a profit of $67,000, thus resulting in no potential profit to the client. The client nonetheless filed tax returns with the IRS reporting false and fraudulent losses purportedly generated from the short options shelter, thereby evading a substantial amount of taxes that he would otherwise have had to pay.

Finally, Bee admitted that in February 2005, while under oath during a deposition in Jade Trading v. United States, a Court of Federal Claims case involving a tax shelter sold by BDO and another promoter, he knowingly made false material statements concerning BDO's tax shelter practice.
You will note that all three counts relate to the theme in tax shelter criminal cases -- the lie. See my blog posting here about the lie.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please make sure that your comment is relevant to the blog entry. For those regular commenters on the blog who otherwise do not want to identify by name, readers would find it helpful if you would choose a unique anonymous indentifier other than just Anonymous. This will help readers identify other comments from a trusted source, so to speak.