Criminal Tax Defense

Overview

BakerHostetler’s Criminal Tax Defense team operates at the confluence of white-collar criminal litigation and tax law. We combine our knowledge of criminal law and procedure with our technical tax expertise to represent businesses and individuals who are under investigation or indictment for tax offenses. We also conduct discreet internal investigations for businesses that suspect wrongdoing by their officers or other employees. Our extensive government and private sector experience helps our clients achieve favorable negotiated resolutions and, when appropriate, to put the government to the test at trial.

We have particular expertise in defending holders of foreign bank accounts in IRS “offshore audits” and offshore criminal investigations and prosecutions.  With foreign banks turning over vast amounts of information on their American customers, the U.S. government is aggressively pursuing those who have failed to disclose their accounts.

Our team is led by attorneys who have extensive experience in the criminal tax arena and includes several former assistant United States Attorneys, a former assistant chief of the Department of Justice Tax Division Criminal Enforcement Section, and a former Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Office of the Chief Counsel attorney.

Our lawyers have successfully represented clients at each stage of the criminal tax process, from IRS administrative investigations conducted by special agents from IRS Criminal Investigation to joint IRS-Department of Justice grand jury investigations to indictments and prosecutions by U.S. Attorney’s offices. Regardless of the stage of the proceedings, however, our goal throughout is to minimize the impact on our clients of being the target of the government’s substantial investigative and prosecutorial resources.

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Representative Clients
  • Financial Institutions
  • Tax Return Preparers
  • Promoters of Tax-Minimization Products
  • Captive Insurance Promoters and Sponsors
  • Entrepreneurs and Their Businesses
  • Holders of Foreign Bank Accounts
Frequently Encountered Charges
  • Tax Evasion
  • Filing False Tax Returns
  • Aiding or Assisting in the Filing of False Tax Returns
  • Failure to Collect or Pay Over Employment Taxes
  • Conspiracy to Defraud the United States (Klein Conspiracy)
  • Obstructing the IRS
  • Failure to File Tax Returns
  • Failure to File Reports of Foreign Bank or Financial Accounts (FBAR)
  • Structuring Currency Transactions
  • Money Laundering
  • Mail and Wire Fraud

Select Experience

  • Achieved a rare acquittal for a business owner in a federal tax fraud jury trial after four weeks of government evidence and 117 government witnesses. The government was represented by a team of three attorneys from the U.S. Attorney's Office and the Department of Justice Tax Division.
  • Represented a multinational financial institution facing a federal grand jury investigation for allegedly assisting U.S. taxpayers in evading their U.S. tax obligations.
  • Represented a U.S. expatriate residing in Europe in an IRS audit relating to the use of a Panama foundation, a Seychelles international business company, and a Cyprus bank account. Navigated audit without triggering criminal investigation or significant penalties.
  • Persuaded a U.S. Attorney to cease a grand jury investigation of a client whose name was one of the first that UBS, Switzerland’s largest bank, turned over to the Department of Justice in 2009 pursuant to its landmark deferred prosecution agreement.
  • Represented owner of a nutritional supplement company regarding unreported income from an alleged stock price manipulation scheme. Persuaded the IRS to discontinue its criminal investigation.
  • Represent the owner of a tax return preparation business who is under IRS criminal investigation relating to the preparation of allegedly false tax returns.
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Experience

  • Achieved a rare acquittal for a business owner in a federal tax fraud jury trial after four weeks of government evidence and 117 government witnesses. The government was represented by a team of three attorneys from the U.S. Attorney's Office and the Department of Justice Tax Division.
  • Represented a multinational financial institution facing a federal grand jury investigation for allegedly assisting U.S. taxpayers in evading their U.S. tax obligations.
  • Represented a U.S. expatriate residing in Europe in an IRS audit relating to the use of a Panama foundation, a Seychelles international business company, and a Cyprus bank account. Navigated audit without triggering criminal investigation or significant penalties.
  • Persuaded a U.S. Attorney to cease a grand jury investigation of a client whose name was one of the first that UBS, Switzerland’s largest bank, turned over to the Department of Justice in 2009 pursuant to its landmark deferred prosecution agreement.
  • Represented owner of a nutritional supplement company regarding unreported income from an alleged stock price manipulation scheme. Persuaded the IRS to discontinue its criminal investigation.
  • Represent the owner of a tax return preparation business who is under IRS criminal investigation relating to the preparation of allegedly false tax returns.
  • Represented a business owner in a criminal tax investigation. Persuaded the U.S. Attorney to decline prosecution of the client for allegedly failing to report over 50 percent of the company’s income over several years.
  • Represented a business owner during a multiyear IRS criminal investigation for alleged under-reporting of income. After a conference with attorneys from the Department of Justice Tax Division, the government declined to prosecute.
  • Represent the former chancellor of a university who is under investigation for allegedly conspiring to loot the university and to defraud the IRS via the receipt of improper payments and a sham sale of software to the university.
  • Represent a Japanese hospitality company doing business in the U.S. in an effort to address its widespread employment tax violations via voluntary disclosure.
  • Represent the owner of a gaming company in a joint FBI/IRS/U.S. Attorney investigation into alleged financial improprieties.

Recognition

  • Chambers USA: Tax in Washington, D.C. (2010 to 2015)
  • BTI Client Service 30: BakerHostetler advanced 19 positions to #9 (2016)
  • “Best Law Firms” 2014: National Tier 1 Ranking in the areas of Litigation – Tax, Tax Law and Trusts & Estates Law from U.S. News – Best Lawyers®.
  • The Best Lawyers in America© 2014: Twenty-seven partners were selected by their peers for inclusion in various tax-related fields.
  • Who’s Who Legal 2013 recognized two partners in the area of Corporate Tax.