Criminal Tax Defense

Overview

Tax enforcement efforts are no longer limited within U.S. borders. The IRS receives a treasure trove of data from U.S. and foreign sources, and it partners with industry experts, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and increasingly the Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement to analyze this information. This has significantly elevated and advanced the ability of federal agencies to track individuals and institutions as they seek high-impact prosecutions for tax evasion and money laundering that can result in prison sentences and multimillion-dollar fines. Foreign institutions and individuals assisting or facilitating U.S. tax evasion are also not beyond their reach.

In this evolving landscape, it is important for individuals and national and multinational corporations to partner with lawyers who operate at the confluence of white-collar criminal litigation and tax law and who can mount an effective defense against a complex federal tax investigation.

Our Criminal Defense team helps individuals and institutions assess and identify issues of concern and implement measures to reduce potential exposure before a domestic (or foreign) enforcement agency launches an investigation. When an investigation is already underway, we have had great success representing clients at each stage of the criminal tax process, whether they were facing administrative investigations conducted by IRS criminal investigation agents, joint IRS-DOJ grand jury investigations, or indictments and prosecutions by U.S. attorneys’ offices.

Members of our team have served in high-level positions at the DOJ and in the IRS Chief Counsel’s Office. Many have LL.M.s in tax or are CPAs. One of our team members is a former Deputy and Acting Chief of the Criminal Division at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey and in the Criminal Enforcement Section in the DOJ’s Tax Division.

We have a wealth of experience to draw on, as well as our knowledge of the law enforcement agencies responsible for prosecuting tax offenses and our relationships with senior officials and agency staff across the country. This enables us to take on the most challenging cases and achieve outstanding results for our clients – at times even convincing the government to shut down investigations. 

More »
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

  • Represented individuals and corporations in numerous criminal tax investigations, including a large accounting firm and several investors in tax shelter prosecutions brought in the Southern District of New York. 
  • Represented the target of a criminal tax and money laundering grand jury investigation, resulting in the declination of charges by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida.
  • Represented a pharmacist involved in a multiyear, multimillion-dollar tax evasion scheme prosecuted by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, resulting in a probation sentence and no civil fraud penalty.
  • Represented numerous accounting firms in grand jury and SEC investigations involving their audit practices and their preparation of tax returns.
More »

Experience

  • Represented individuals and corporations in numerous criminal tax investigations, including a large accounting firm and several investors in tax shelter prosecutions brought in the Southern District of New York. 
  • Represented the target of a criminal tax and money laundering grand jury investigation, resulting in the declination of charges by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida.
  • Represented a pharmacist involved in a multiyear, multimillion-dollar tax evasion scheme prosecuted by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, resulting in a probation sentence and no civil fraud penalty.
  • Represented numerous accounting firms in grand jury and SEC investigations involving their audit practices and their preparation of tax returns.
  • Represented the target of a criminal tax grand jury investigation, resulting in the declination of charges by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey.
  • Representing individuals and corporations in criminal tax investigations, including a large accounting firm and several investors in grand jury investigations relating to conservation easements brought in the Northern District of Georgia by the Department of Justice Tax Division. 
  • Representing numerous individuals regarding their participation in the IRS Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program; more specifically, counseled numerous individuals who have funds in foreign accounts not previously reported to the IRS as to whether they should seek amnesty from criminal prosecution by entering the program.
  • Provided in-house training to several national accounting firms as well as to numerous CPA organizations on issues related to criminal tax investigations.

Recognition

  • Chambers USA
    • Tax Controversy ‒ Nationwide (2014 to 2021)
    • Tax ‒ District of Columbia (2010 to 2021)
    • Tax ‒ Ohio (2021)
  • The Legal 500 United States
    • Tax ‒ International Tax (2014 to 2021)
    • Tax ‒ US Taxes: Contentious (2019, 2021)
    • Tax ‒ US Taxes: Non-Contentious (2015 to 2021)
  • U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms”
    • Litigation – Tax: National (2012 to 2020); Denver (2012 to 2020); Washington, D.C. (2012 to 2021)
    • Tax Law: National (2012 to 2020); Atlanta (2018 to 2020); Cleveland (2011 to 2020); Denver (2011 to 2022); Columbus (2015 to 2020); Costa Mesa (2017 to 2020); Washington, D.C. (2011 to 2022)
  • Recognized as one of the top law firms for client service, BakerHostetler was named to the 2020 BTI Client Service 30 for the sixth consecutive year. 

News

Key Contacts