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Tax Fraud

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BUSINESS
July 24, 1996 | SCOT J. PALTROW, TIMES STAFF WRITER
An Internal Revenue Service ruling, vindicating a municipal bond market whistle-blower, means that the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority and more than 100 local agencies nationwide will have to pay the federal government as much as $2.5 billion within a year or risk even more dire consequences.
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OPINION
April 19, 2014
Re "Rizzo is sentenced to 12 years in prison," April 17 Now that another chapter in the saga of the city of Bell corruption scandal has been closed, let's thank the Founding Fathers for the constitutional amendment that guarantees freedom of the press. We see, in countless media investigations of wrongdoing by officials such as former Bell administrator Robert Rizzo, a shining beacon of hope for freedom, fair play and democracy. Without the media - more precisely, newspapers in America - we would be like a small ant being stepped on by a Herculean giant of institutional self-interest.
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SPORTS
June 12, 2013 | By Melissa Rohlin
Soccer star Lionel Messi and his father have been accused of tax fraud by Spanish authorities. Criminal charges alleging nearly $5.3 million in unpaid taxes from 2007 through 2009 were filed against them Wednesday by prosecutor Raquel Amado in Barcelona. Messi, who plays for Barcelona and is from Argentina, is one of the highest paid athletes in the world. The World Player of the Year reportedly makes just over $20 million a season, according to Forbes magazine, and receives about $21 million in endorsements from his sponsors, which include Adidas , PepsiCo and P&G. ALSO: Ravens release Vonta Leach after failing to agree on new deal The top 25 @ 140: Which college teams lead in Twitter followers Manti Te'o breaks monthlong silence, discusses championship loss
WORLD
April 15, 2014 | By Henry Chu
ROME -- Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was ordered Tuesday to spend a year performing community service among the elderly as his sentence for committing tax fraud at his media conglomerate. The decision by a Milan judge spares Berlusconi, 77, a sentence of house arrest. But the former premier, who has dominated Italy's political scene for two decades, will see his movements restricted just as his center-right party gears up for elections to the European Parliament next month.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 14, 2014 | By Jeff Gottlieb
Robert Rizzo, the former top administrator who oversaw an era of corruption in the small, working-class city of Bell, was sentenced to 33 months in federal prison Monday on tax fraud charges. For Rizzo, the sentence is likely the first of two prison terms he will be handed this week. He returns to court Wednesday, when he is expected to be sentenced to 10 to 12 years in prison on corruption-related charges. He was also ordered to pay $256,000 in restitution to the federal government.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 12, 1993
There has been much written about workers' compensation fraud in the medical and legal professions and even by the insurance companies, but there is a much overlooked area of workers' compensation fraud, and that is fraud by the employer. I operate a carpet installation workroom and I pay all workers' compensation, payroll taxes and, liability insurance based on payroll. I am competing with and losing contracts to workrooms that illegally classify their employees as subcontractors.
WORLD
June 25, 2013 | By Richard Fausset
MEXICO CITY -- Andres Granier, the former governor of the Mexican state of Tabasco who was recently caught on tape boasting that he owned 300 suits and 400 pairs of shoes, was arrested Tuesday evening by federal authorities on suspicion of tax fraud and “operating with illicit proceeds.” Granier, 65, has taken center stage in Mexican politics in recent weeks  after tapes surfaced of him talking about his lavish lifestyle -- boasts that he...
BUSINESS
March 28, 2012 | By Marc Lifsher
 A federal judge in Sacramento has sentenced a Los Angeles tobacco distributor to 15 months in prison and ordered him to pay $880,000 to the state of California for his participation in a scheme to defraud the state of more than $800,000 in excise taxes. Jawid Wahidi, 34, the owner of LMS International, was sentenced Wednesday. He pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court on May 10 to charges of mail fraud. According to U.S. Atty. Benjamin B. Wagner, Wahidi filed statements with the California Board of Equalization that  "dramatically under-reported the amount of tobacco he sold in the state.
WORLD
August 1, 2013 | By Tom Kington
ROME - Italy's high court on Thursday upheld a conviction of tax fraud and a four-year prison sentence for Silvio Berlusconi, the first time that the media mogul and three-time prime minister has received a definitive conviction and sentence in his 20-year dominance of Italian politics. The verdict may signal the unwinding of Berlusconi's colorful political career and could also undermine Italy's fragile coalition government. The court declined to rule on a five-year ban on political office that Berlusconi had been handed by a lower appeals court, sending the matter back to the lower court for reconsideration.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 4, 2011 | By Abby Sewell, Los Angeles Times
A federal grand jury has indicted 55 people connected with two Southern California companies accused of filing hundreds of falsified tax returns seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in bogus tax refunds. The owners of the two companies, Fontana-based Old Quest Foundation and De la Fuente and Ramirez and Associates of Rancho Cucamonga, were charged along with customers, attorneys, tax preparers and other professionals who worked with them. The indictment accuses Old Quest of filing false tax forms that reported more than $1 billion in withheld income tax and sought more than $250 million in tax refunds.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 14, 2014 | By Jeff Gottlieb
Federal prosecutors have recommended that former Bell city manager Robert Rizzo go to prison for nearly three years when he is sentenced on tax fraud charges Monday, saying his conduct is "clearly more egregious than that of many other tax violators who do not hold public office and who do not steal public monies.” This begins a momentous week for Rizzo, with the big day being Wednesday, when he is scheduled to be sentenced on 69 felonies related...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 14, 2014 | By Jeff Gottlieb
Robert Rizzo, the former top administrator who oversaw an era of corruption in the small, working-class city of Bell, was sentenced to 33 months in federal prison Monday on tax fraud charges. For Rizzo, the sentence is likely the first of two prison terms he will be handed this week. He returns to court Wednesday, when he is expected to be sentenced to 10 to 12 years in prison on corruption-related charges. He was also ordered to pay $256,000 in restitution to the federal government.
WORLD
February 8, 2014 | By Lauren Frayer
MADRID -- Testifying in the first-ever criminal proceeding against a member of Spain's royal family, the king's youngest daughter Saturday denied involvement in her husband's business dealings, lawyers said following the lengthy closed-door session. The princess, Infanta Cristina, and her husband, former Olympian-turned-businessman Iñaki Urdangarin, are under investigation for possible tax fraud and money-laundering. Their legal woes have sent the Spanish royal family's approval rating to all-time lows amid soaring unemployment and calls for 76-year-old King Juan Carlos to abdicate.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 14, 2014 | By Jeff Gottlieb
Robert Rizzo, the former city manager of Bell who already has pleaded no contest to 69 corruption felonies, pleaded guilty Monday to federal tax charges in which he claimed more than $770,000 in phony losses, mostly on his horse ranch. Rizzo was dressed in a blue blazer and gray pants, as he has been for nearly all his court appearances. His hair, dyed brown when he was illegally receiving $1.5 million in annual compensation from Bell, is gray. He agreed last month to plead guilty to one count each of conspiracy to commit tax fraud and making a false income tax return.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 13, 2014 | By Jeff Gottlieb, This post has been updated. Please see below for details.
Robert A. Rizzo, the former Bell city administrator who oversaw an era of corruption, pleaded guilty Monday to two federal tax charges. [Updated 12:20 p.m. PST Jan. 13: Dressed in a blue blazer and gray slacks, Rizzo repeatedly said "Yes, your honor," as he agreed to plead guilty to filing a false tax return and conspiring to file a false tax return. Rizzo, who already faces a potential 12-year sentence on corruption charges, could get up to eight years in federal prison and a $500,000 fine on the tax case.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 6, 2013
Peter Graf Father of tennis great was jailed for tax fraud Peter Graf, 75, who mentored his daughter, tennis great Steffi Graf, but then went to jail for evading taxes on her earnings, died Nov. 30 at his home in Mannheim, Germany, his family said. German media reported last year that he had pancreatic cancer. Graf, who sold used cars and had other businesses, placed a sawed-off tennis racket in his daughter's hand before she was 4 years old, rewarding her with ice cream when she was able to sustain long rallies on an improvised tennis court in the family living room.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 15, 2010 | By Paloma Esquivel
Former Orange County Assistant Sheriff Don Haidl was sentenced Monday to two years' probation, a $40,000 fine and 200 hours of community service for tax fraud. Haidl, a Newport Beach businessman and onetime assistant to convicted former Orange County Sheriff Michael S. Carona, was accused of tax fraud in a scheme to help pay his son's legal bills in a sexual assault case. He was given probation rather than prison time because of his cooperation in the federal corruption case against Carona.
BUSINESS
April 19, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
Sprint Nextel Corp. is being sued for $300 million by New York Atty. Gen. Eric T. Schneiderman, who is accusing the wireless carrier of tax fraud. Schneiderman called Thursday's suit - which alleges, based on a whistle-blower's tip, that Sprint underpaid sales tax on some of its wireless plans for the last seven years - a “groundbreaking” filing. The complaint alleges that Sprint's debt to New York is growing by $210,000 a week. Schneiderman claims the company already owes more than $100 million.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 8, 2013 | By Jeff Gottlieb and Ruben Vives
Former Bell administrators Robert Rizzo and Angela Spaccia had companies that they used to lower the taxes they owed on the extraordinary salaries they earned in the small, working-class city, a prosecutor said Friday. L.A. County Assistant Dist. Atty. Sean Hassett said the two former officials exchanged emails in which they discussed "falsifying their returns. " Rizzo's attorney has said he expected federal prosecutors to charge his client and Spaccia with conspiracy to file fraudulent tax filings.
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