Justin opens with DOJ Tax's high 90+% conviction rate (virtually all by plea agreements) and two prominent instances of acquittals. He then states:
This is not to say that every tax case should be tried and will be won. The Justice Department wins the lion’s share of tax cases that proceed to trial — many of which are investigated by stellar federal agents and prosecuted by talented financial fraud prosecutors. A savvy defense attorney will realize that certain tax cases should never see a courtroom and that the focus should be on negotiating the best deal.
Notwithstanding the government’s 90 percent conviction rate, when a tax case hits defense counsel’s desk, counsel should think outside the box and litigate creatively because many a criminal tax case can be won, negotiated down to a favorable plea, and/or resolved with a lenient sentence.Then Justin offers key "Tricks of the Trade" with a short introduction to the tricks.
- Request an IRS SAC Conference and DOJ Tax Conference.
- Obtain the tax preparer’s work papers.
- File a FOIA request.
- Identify and interview key witnesses early [Good stuff here about the IRS-CI interview of the tax preparer]
- Read the indictment carefully.
- Consider moving for a bill of particulars.
- Request IRS records in discovery.
- Send the IRS a preservation letter.
- Retain a Kovel accountant.
- Cross-examine the government’s revenue agent.
- Consider statutes when negotiating a plea.
- Cross-examine the IRS-CI special agent.
- Analyze sentencing issues thoroughly.