When people think of tax fraud, they often think of the federal government. If you are being charged with a federal criminal case, the federal government is probably the entity that will prosecute your case.
If you are being charged with tax fraud related to the EDD or the state of California, then the state might handle your case and try it in downtown Los Angeles, at 210 West Temple Street.
Tax evasion cases are usually federal. Many people make large amounts of money and don't want to pay taxes to their government. Once the government finds out, they will file a criminal case under 26 U.S.C. § 7201. Our federal criminal defense lawyers are providing a review below.
IRS Criminal Investigation
It usually starts as a civil case with an IRS investigation, and then it will be turned over to the criminal unit. The IRS tends to get involved in large dollar-figure cases.
Often, the person will be given a chance to explain why they are not paying taxes and may be allowed to pay those taxes before a criminal case is filed.
If the person doesn't pay their taxes or has committed blatant tax fraud, then a criminal case will be filed by the government.
Federal authorities also pursue tax evasion cases involving people who are not reporting their income because it is being made by virtue of criminal activity.
When considering tax fraud at the federal level, it is important to realize that the government is like the mafia; they need to get a piece of every bit of money that is earned in the United States, and if they don't get their piece, then they are going to come looking for their money.
Who Actually Has The Burden Of Proof In A Federal Tax Fraud Case?
In any criminal case, the government has the burden of proof to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. If you are charged with a federal crime such as tax evasion, you are entitled to have 12 jurors listen to the evidence.
Before the government can get a conviction, the jury must render a unanimous guilty verdict. When it comes to tax evasion, the government is usually pretty good at building cases.
They are also good at getting the discovery to indict defendants, including all the documents, surveillance videos, and any other forms of evidence. In any criminal case, there is the potential of jail time.
However, you are certainly entitled to the presumption of innocence, and the government must prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt.
What Are Potential Penalties For Federal Criminal Tax Fraud?
The government has a whole host of punishments it can dole out when it comes to tax fraud at the federal level. Typically, it's going to be a judge sentencing the person, but the government has their say because they are the ones who filed the charges.
If there are enhancements related to the amount of money that was supposedly involved with the tax evasion or tax fraud, then that could increase the severity of the punishment.
Typically, federal prison time will be sentenced. Most people who get a federal prison sentence have to serve 85 percent of that sentence.
Another powerful weapon that the government has in tax fraud cases is the ability to freeze bank accounts and the ability to seize or forfeit properties. If they feel that money was not paid to them by a person who has assets, then they are going to try to obtain those assets.
What Are Possible Defense Strategies In Tax Fraud Cases?
If you paid your taxes and filed your tax returns but the government is claiming that you didn't, then you would have a strong defense. When it comes to tax fraud at the federal level, the defenses used are usually driven by whatever happened in the case.
The key is to be honest with your attorney and review all of the discovery in the case so that you know the nature of the allegations against you.
If the allegations are untrue or inflated, then tell this to your attorney, and your attorney will do the talking for you. You and your attorney will decide whether your case should be fought at the jury trial level, or whether a plea bargain should be pursued.
I've been doing this for 26 years; I talk to people all the time. When clients are honest with me, I am in the best position to help them through their criminal case and obtain the best possible results.
Hedding Law Firm is a criminal defense law firm located in Los Angeles County at 16000 Ventura Blvd #1208 Encino, CA 91436. Contact our office for a free case evaluation at (213) 542-0994.