Sunday, September 4, 2016

Article on Prominent Tax Evaders Prompted by Anniversary of Helmsley's 1989 Conviction for Tax Evasion (9/4/16)

I read an interesting newsy article on tax crimes that readers might find interesting:  Brian Lisi, The biggest tax evaders in US history on the anniversary of Leona Helmsley's 1989 conviction (8/30/16), here.  The article discusses Helmsley and other prominent persons convicted of tax evasion or having large tax debts.

The "taxpayers" discussed are:

Leona Helmsley (Wikipedia here

The appellate decision in her appeal from her criminal tax convictions is United States v. Helmsley, 941 F.2d 71 (2d Cir. 1991), cert denied, 502 U.S. 1091 (1991), here.  The article pictures Ms. Helmsley with Alan Dershowitz who led her team of lawyers on appeal  (See the attorney list in the linked case.)  She was represented at trial by a friend, Jerry Feffer, who famously is reported to have opened his closing argument to the jury by admitting that his client was a "tough bitch" but adding in her defense that being a tough bitch is not a crime. See Willliam Glaberson, Helmsley Jury Outlines by Lawyers (NYT 7/6/89), here. That strategic move did not work, hence the appeal.  Helmsley's name has appeared frequently in Federal Tax Crimes Blog entries.  See here.

OJ Simpson (Wikipedia here)

Simpson was a prominent sports figure who was tried and acquitted for the murder of his wife and her friend.  I don't believe he was convicted of a tax crime, but he did owe tax to the State of California.  I don't believe that I have ever mentioned Simpson in Federal Tax Crimes entries.  I think he had only a civil tax liability and was never prosecuted for a tax crime.

Jack Abramoff (Wikipedia here)

Abramoff was a Washington lobbyist whose name was "synonymous with corruption in politics."  I don't think he was convicted of a tax crime, but I have mentioned the name Abramoff only once in a Federal Tax Crimes Blog.  See Sentencing - Plea Bargaining and the Right to Trial (9/25/11), here.

Walter Anderson (Wikipedia here)

Anderson was convicted of tax crimes prior to my Federal Tax Crimes Blog getting started but has appeared several times in Federal Tax Crimes Blog entries.  See here.

H. Ty Warner (Wikipedia here)

Warner was also convicted of tax related crimes and has appeared prominently several times in Federal Tax Crimes Blog entries principally because of the amount involved (including the FBAR penalty of over $50 million and because of his lenient sentence.  See here.

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