IRVINE, Calif., March 1, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- "Where there's smoke, there's fire" when it comes to tax crimes. Where the federal government begins investigating one instance of potential criminal wrongdoing, invariably there is an associated tax crime to go along with it as most taxpayers do not report illegal source income. As the story that we are highlighting today shows, government agencies often work together to investigate and prosecute crimes and if you are out of compliance with your tax obligations, any negative attention from the government could result in a criminal tax investigation and prosecution even if the original investigation issue does not.
According to a Department of Justice press release, Joanne Murray, 54, and James Murray, 53, pleaded guilty to one count each of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, aggravated identity theft, and tax evasion. The couple took advantage of the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation AKA Freddie Mac by filing fraudulent reimbursement requests through Joanne Murray's real estate brokerage business.
Between 2010 and 2015, fraudulent reimbursement requests for repair work and maintenance were submitted on homes in foreclosure that had not in reality been completed. When Freddie Mac paid out on the reimbursement claims, the brokerage paid James Murray's maintenance company 90 percent of the funds and kept the rest as a haircut. The couple also falsified "competing" bids to appear as the lowest bid on the project. Once the couple perfected this scheme, they are alleged to have replicated it, benefiting another relative.
Federal agents also learned that the couple was cashing business checks without depositing them into their personal or business bank accounts to avoid IRS collection of prior years' tax debt. Lastly the couple's 2014 income tax return underreported income by more than $151,000.
The Murray's face up to five years in federal prison for each count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and tax evasion, and at least two years for aggravated identity theft along with a term of supervised release and monetary penalties.
If you are out of compliance with your federal or state taxes, it is in your best interest to be proactive and rectify the situation before the IRS or any other federal or State authority conducts a tax audit or criminal investigation. See the full version of this article HERE.
Contact: Dave Klasing Esq. CPA, firstname.lastname@example.org.
SOURCE Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing