Nobody likes paying taxes and sometimes people go so far to avoid paying Uncle Sam that they end up needing a criminal defense attorney. Likewise, trying to secure public benefits or filing false insurance claims is very tempting for people who are desperate and trying to get by in a stagnant economy. Unfortunately, failure to pay your taxes or actively trying to get welfare or food stamps when you are not legally entitled to them has been a common issue for many people in New York, Long Island and Westchester County. The consequences can be very harsh and costly if you are forced to go through an audit or are criminally prosecuted.
Like other federal and white collar crimes, the state vigorously investigates and prosecutes tax fraud or evasion and the government has a wealth of resources to throw at you. Trying to get public benefits by fraudulent means can bar you from receiving public assistance in the future. Some common fraud issues include:
- Intentionally failing to file taxes
- Failing false return tax returns
- Intentionally misrepresenting your income
- Claiming false deduction on your tax returns
- Misrepresenting expenses (business or personal)
- Concealing income or failing to report income
You may inadvertently end up in trouble for your tax issues or it may be the case that you were part of a larger criminal enterprise and you are facing racketeering or other enterprise corruption charges. Facing criminal charges for any type of fraud can be an intimidating and scary process and you need a tough but empathetic criminal attorney representing your interests. Attorney George Vomvolakis has a winning reputation in both criminal and civil court. Some examples of his successes include:
- Winning a criminal case for a client who was accused of mail fraud. All charges were dropped against the client when the defense investigation confirmed the client’s innocence.
- Successfully represented an internet marketing company that was charged with hijacking domain names and committing several trademark violations
Common Fraud Charges
Insurance fraud and welfare fraud are two of the most common fraud charges in New York. In most cases, these crimes are charged as felonies. Even if the charges are filed as misdemeanors, you can face lifelong trouble as a result of being a criminal defendant for a crime of dishonesty.
Insurance fraud and welfare fraud are classified into five degrees of offense based on the monetary value defrauded.
- Fifth degree insurance fraud and welfare fraud are both misdemeanor crimes.
- Fourth degree fraud occurs when the amount stolen is over $1,000 and the crime is considered a felony. If the amount missing is greater than $3,000 it is considered a third degree felony.
- Fraud as a second degree felony takes place when the amount defrauded is greater than $50,000.
- First degree felony fraud charges are implemented when the amount embezzled or defrauded is more than $1,000,000.
Penalties for fraud include fines and prison time, and they vary based on the degree of the crime. You may also be required to pay restitution in the amount that is owed. If you’ve been visited by IRS investigators or gotten letters from agencies, don’t take them lightly. Contact a criminal defense lawyer right away.
What is Tax Fraud?
Under New York law there are various tax fraud “acts” that may subject you to criminal or administrative liability. N.Y. TAX LAW §§ 1802-1807 list five levels of tax fraud and each of them varies in their degree of severity. Some of these offenses are extremely serious and may subject you to harsh punishments
- Criminal tax fraud in the fifth degree is the charge for simple tax fraud. It is a class A misdemeanor.
- Criminal tax fraud in the fourth degree is the charge pertaining to evasion in the amount of more than three thousand dollars over one year. It is a class E felony.
- Criminal tax fraud in the third degree is the charge for evasion of more than ten thousand dollars over one year. It is a class D felony.
- Criminal tax fraud in the second degree is the charge for evading more than $50,000 in taxes over one year. It is charged as a class C felony.
- Criminal tax fraud in the first degree is a charge relating to the evasion of more than one million dollars in taxes over the course of one year, and is a class B felony.
Under N.Y. TAX. LAW § 1801, some of these acts include:
- Failing to make, render, sign, certify or file any required report or return
- Knowing that a return, report, statement or other document under this chapter contains any materially false or fraudulent information, or omits any material information, files or submits that return, report, statement or document with the state or any political subdivision of the state or any state subdivision
- Knowingly supplies or submits materially false or fraudulent information in connection with any return, audit, investigation, or proceeding or fails to supply information within the required time period
- Engaging in any scheme to defraud the state or a political subdivision of the state or a government instrumentality within the state by false or fraudulent pretenses
- Failing to remit any tax collected in the name of the state or on behalf of the state or any political subdivision of the state when such collection is required under this chapter
- Failing to collect any tax required to be collected with intent to evade any tax
Call today for a free fraud case evaluation!
If a tax investigation or prosecution is already in motion, effective assistance of counsel during the ongoing investigation is a necessary safeguard against the IRS and Justice department. You need an attorney who has a holistic knowledge of the entire investigative process and prosecution.
Tax fraud, as well as well as other types of government fraud, necessarily involves long complicated paper trails and not just any attorney can handle these types of cases. Attorney George Vomvolakis has extensive experience as a defense attorney and former prosecutor. He knows how to represent your best interests and build a solid defense. Call today for a free consultation of your case!