Thursday, June 17, 2010

Couple Convicted in Tax Shelter Scheme

Recently, a married couple from Oregon was convicted of running a tax shelter scheme in which they “marketed tax trusts to clients, filed lawsuits against IRS employees, and prepared a $108 million tax lien against former Treasury Secretary John Snow.”

As this article from Web CPA explains, Tony and Micaela Dutson defrauded the U.S. government of approximately $7 million.

The couple were convicted of conspiring to defraud the IRS, obstructing the IRS, causing clients to use bogus financial instruments in an attempt to pay their taxes, failing to file tax returns, and aiding and advising a client to file a false tax return. The couple used Micaela Dutson’s law office in Tigard, Ore., to promote and sell tax trusts for several years before moving to Arizona in 2003. The couple made over $1 million from the scheme and paid no income tax.

The investigation was launched after the Internal Revenue Service discovered that multiple taxpayers who had followed advice from the Dutsons were being audited for failure to file tax returns despite a prior history of filing and paying their taxes. The IRS initiated an audit of Micaela Dutson after it received notice from the State of Oregon that she had been paid out-of-state funds to provide indigent legal services but had never filed a tax return reporting that income.

Micaela Dutson resigned from the Oregon State Bar in 2002. For several years, the IRS tried unsuccessfully to stop the Dutsons from selling abusive tax shelters before eventually referring the matter to IRS Criminal Investigation. In 2006, at the request of the IRS, a federal court in Phoenix ordered the Dutsons to cease their activities. After the investigation revealed extensive fraudulent activity, the case was referred to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for prosecution.

Blog Archive