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The Champion

April 2016 , Page 40 

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Defending a Criminal Tax Case

By Justin Gelfand

A client is charged with a tax crime. Perhaps the IRS officials claim he cooked the books at his small business. Or they claim he hid money in a Swiss bank account. Or the government says the client willfully failed to file tax returns. Whatever the allegations may be, the client now finds himself in the crosshairs of the IRS’s Criminal Investigation (CI) division and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Tax Division — and he needs help.

The IRS flaunts its 90+ percent conviction rate in criminal tax cases and, unlike most other areas of federal criminal law, Congress has put into place a statutory scheme under which the Tax Division in Washington, D.C., must authorize all tax prosecutions. One theory in centralizing criminal tax enforcement is that only the best criminal tax cases will be prosecuted. But as recent defense victories have revealed, defense attorneys can and do obtain complete acquittals, favorable pleas, and sentences well below the U.S. Sentencing Guideli

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