Saturday, July 30, 2016

Another Offshore Account Indictment (7/30/16)

The USAO SDNY announced yesterday here that a prominent New York Art Consultant, Lacy Doyle, has been indicted for one count each tax obstruction, 7212(a), and tax perjury (7206(2)), both being 3 year maximum felonies with a resulting aggregate maximum sentence of 6 years.  The indictment was handed down earlier but unsealed with the announcement of the arrest yesterday.  The indictment is here  Key excerpts from the press release:
As alleged in the Indictment unsealed today in Manhattan federal court: 
DOYLE, assisted by others – including Beda Singenberger, a Swiss citizen who ran a financial advisory firm – established and maintained undeclared bank accounts in Switzerland to hide those accounts from the IRS.  DOYLE used a sham entity to conceal from the IRS her ownership of some of the undeclared accounts and deliberately failed to report the accounts and the income generated in the accounts to the IRS. 
In 2003, DOYLE’s father died and secretly left an inheritance of over $4 million to DOYLE.  DOYLE, who was appointed the executor of her father’s estate, made court filings falsely stating under penalty of perjury that the total value of her father’s estate was under $1 million when, in truth and fact, it was more than four times that amount.
Thereafter, in 2006, DOYLE, with Singenberger’s assistance, opened an undeclared Swiss bank account for the purpose of depositing the secret inheritance from her father.  The account was opened in the name of a sham foundation formed under the laws of Lichtenstein to conceal DOYLE’s ownership.  As of December 31, 2008, the account held assets valued at approximately $3,548,380. 
In 2010, the sham foundation controlled by DOYLE was re-domiciled from Lichtenstein to Panama.  As of May 31, 2010, the sham foundation maintained assets of at least approximately $3,151,961.37. 
For each of the calendar years from 2004 through 2009, DOYLE willfully failed to report on her tax returns her interest in the undeclared accounts and the income generated in those accounts.  For each of these years, Doyle also failed to file a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) with the IRS, as the law required her to do. 
Singenberger was charged on July 21, 2011, with conspiring with U.S. taxpayers and others to defraud the United States, evade U.S. income taxes, and file false U.S. tax returns.  He remains at large.
JAT Comments:

1.  Beda Singenberger who has appeared several times in blog entries, here.  He was a Swiss enabler through a financial advisory firm.  The indictment alleges (par. 29):  "Between in or about 2007 and in or about 2010, Singenberger provided to one of his U.S. taxpayer clients a document (the "Singenberger Client List") containing significant details regarding clients and prospective clients who were U.S. taxpayers (including LACY DOYLE, the defendant) [List of details omitted].  (Par. 29.)  For a previous blog discussing the list , see:  U.S. Using a Client List of Indicted Swiss Banker/Enabler (3/14/13), here.  Presumably since Singenberger is still at large, the DOJ's access to the list came from the U.S. taxpayer.

2.  As with virtually all of the prosecutions, entities were involved and great lengths taken to hide the assets.

3.  Note that the allegations are that Doyle failed to report the account interest on income tax return and failed to file FBARs for the years 2004 through 2009. (See also indictment pars. 43 ff.)  It is not clear what happened in the later years.  The indictment says (par. 15) that Doyle continued obstructive activities "through in or about 2012."

4.  The banks involved are Credit Suisse and 4 other foreign banks pseudonymed serially (Indictment pars. 10-14):  Foreign Bank A (UK bank with headquarters in London), Foreign Bank B (Swiss Bank with headquarters in Basel), Foreign Bank C (Luxembourg bank, with headquarters in Strassen), and Foreign Bank D (Swiss Bank with headquarters in Zurich).

5.  A Spouse (unnamed) plays a prominent role in the indictment (see particularly pars. 16 - 23).  Doyle and the Spouse were divorced in June 2009 (par. 4).  According to the indictment (par. 16), the Spouse and Doyle opened a joint bank account in Paris with the bank thereafter being acquired by Foreign Bank A.  Apparently incident to the divorce, Doyle relinquished her interest in that account. Also, the Spouse opened an account in Credit Suisse in 1995, giving Doyle signatory power and power of attorney.  The opening documents directed Credit Suisse to not mail documents "for the purposes of concealing the existence of Credit Suisse Account 1 from the United States Government."  Doyle had substantial activity with respect the account, directing investment and related matters.  Incident to their separation, in 2008, Spouse directed Credit Suisse to cancel Doyle's power of attorney over this account and the account was closed in 2009.  There is no indication of any disposition as to the Spouse.

6.  In 2004, Doyle caused her father's estate to file a Form 1041 answering the Foreign Bank account question no.  (par. 26.)

7.  The indictment alleges that Doyle was not truthful about one or more foreign accounts she beneficially owned in depositions related to her divorce.  (Par. 31.)

8.  In 2011, certain incriminating documents about a foreign account and cash of $9,700 (just under the $10,000 reporting requirement) were found in Doyle's possession upon arrival at JFK Airport.  (Par. 42.)

Here are some summary statistics from my spreadsheet updated through the Doyle indictment.  I caution readers that my data set is likely incomplete so that there may be more indictments, pleas, etc., but I think I have most of them so that the summary statistics are fair to draw general conclusions.  I do note that my data may be incomplete as to the number having entities.  My general impression was that virtually all indicted taxpayers had entities.  The compilation data below indicates that perhaps up to 18 or, more likely 13, may not have had entities, but I think that the number may be less than that because my data set with respect to the entity involvement may not be complete.

# Uncertain
Charges (Indictments, Information, Complaint)

Charges with Taxpayer Entities Involved
Guilty Pleas

Guilty Verdicts



Cases Sentenced (Total)

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