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Tax Fraud

WORLD
March 19, 2013 | By Sergei L. Loiko
MOSCOW - Russian investigators found no evidence of violence against a lawyer who died in custody after accusing officials and police officers of running a multimillion-dollar tax refund scam, and have ended their probe, officials said Tuesday. Sergei Magnitsky, who worked as a legal advisor for the Hermitage Capital Management investment fund in Moscow, died in 2009 of heart insufficiency and brain and lung edema resulting from diabetes and hepatitis while in pretrial detention on tax charges, the Russian Investigative Committee said on its website.
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BUSINESS
March 5, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- The federal government's automatic budget cuts mean there will be less financial incentive to turn in tax cheats. In a notice on its website, the Internal Revenue Service said it would pay 8.7% less to informants who blow the whistle on tax-dodging individuals or corporations. The payments are being reduced because of the spending reductions required by the across-the-board cuts known as sequestration that kicked in Friday, the IRS said. QUIZ: How much do you know about the federal budget cuts?
NEWS
February 15, 2013 | By Katherine Skiba
Federal prosecutors in Washington on Friday charged both Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife, Sandi, alleging the former congressman misused $750,000 in campaign funds while she understated their income on  tax returns for six years. Attorneys for Sandi Jackson issued a statement saying she has signed a plea deal with prosecutors and would plead guilty to tax fraud. Jesse Jackson Jr. was charged in what is known as a criminal information, which typically signals that he, too, will plead guilty.
WORLD
October 28, 2012 | By Sarah Delaney, Los Angeles Times
ROME - Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi came out swinging Saturday after a court sentenced him to four years in prison for tax fraud, vowing to dedicate himself to reforming the Italian justice system, which he said was dominated by a "dictatorship of magistrates. " "I'm staying in the game," the flamboyant media tycoon said in an interview early Saturday, appearing to contradict the announcement he made days earlier that he was retreating from political life. But the combative 76-year-old former leader, who was forced to step down a year ago amid the country's financial crisis, said later that he had not changed his mind on seeking the premiership again but rather would work to change the judiciary "because we cannot go on this way. This is not a democracy.
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.
BUSINESS
March 29, 2012 | By Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO — 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 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 tobacco distributor 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.
BUSINESS
March 23, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
In the thick of tax season, a new study suggests that when Americans get their refunds, they file for more bankruptcies - because they can finally afford all the related fees. Researchers from the University of Chicago, Columbia University and Washington University in St. Louis found that, in 2008, the number of people who went broke went through a “significant, short-run” 7% increase after the IRS sent out refunds. Many used the extra money to pay the average $1,477 in fees needed to declare bankruptcy; without the refunds, 3.8% of filers could not have afforded to go through the process, according to the report.
NATIONAL
February 17, 2012 | By Michael Muskal
Identity theft, hiding income offshore and inflating expenses are among the frauds that commonly pop out during tax preparation season, the Internal Revenue Service warns. The federal agency, which administers tax collection, has released its annual list of the so-called dirty dozen tax scams. Such scams often become more prevalent as the tax season comes to a head; this year's tax deadline is April 17. The ranking is designed to protect taxpayers from the unscrupulous as well as ensure the government gets the funds it needs to operate.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 24, 2011 | By Steve Chawkins, Los Angeles Times
When Huguette Clark's will was filed six months ago, art lovers in Santa Barbara were delighted: The bluff-top estate owned by the reclusive 104-year-old copper heiress was to be transformed into a museum. It was an exciting but uncertain prospect at the time, largely because the museum was to be established by Clark's attorney and accountant — longtime advisors whose ethics had been questioned in news reports and in legal actions by Clark's relatives. The possibility grew even dimmer Friday when a New York City judge suspended the pair as Clark's executors, citing accusations of massive tax fraud.
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