Top 3 Most Infamous Tax Evasion Cases

Next to losing weight, sorting out finances, and cutting back on spending are some of the top new year’s resolutions. We resolve to save more money so we can be prepared for “rainy days” or emergencies; we may even be committed to saving money to make a major purchase, such as a house, a car, or a grand vacation.  

For most U.S. citizens, achieving those financial goals means separating wants from needs, avoiding using credit to pay bills, or setting aside a fixed amount each month. Unfortunately, some resort to unconstitutional acts to keep more money for themselves. How? By cheating the tax system. Here are the top 3 most infamous tax evasion cases in the U.S. 

1. Joe Francis    

What makes Girls Gone Wild Founder Joe Francis’ tax evasion story notorious is that it didn’t only involve troubles with the IRS. Francis’ tax-related crimes involved record-keeping violations, filing a false return, and bribery, along with several civil suits. In 2007, Francis was indicted on two counts of tax evasion involving over $20 million in false deductions, for which he blamed his accountant. Francis allegedly transferred over $15 million to a Cayman Islands corporation. His accountant retaliated with a whistleblower recovery claim.  

Ultimately, Francis pleaded guilty, paid a total of $250,000 in restitution, and ended up not serving time. However, by 2013, Francis filed for bankruptcy as a strategy to block Wynn Resorts from seizing company assets to settle his gambling debts. And by 2015, there was an arrest warrant for Francis for failing to comply with his bankruptcy agreement. Francis would then flee to Mexico. 

2. Dennis Kozlowski 

What makes the tax evasion case of former chairman of Tyco International Dennis Kozlowski is that it involved multi-millions of stolen funds, sales taxes, and liabilities. In 2002, Kozlowski was indicted on charges of failing to pay millions of dollars in sales taxes. In several settlement cases, he agreed to pay $3.2 million in sales tax plus interest and $17.9 million in state and city income tax, interest, and penalties. And in 2005, Kozlowski was convicted of stealing $600 million from the company. The conviction led to Kozlowski being ordered to pay $97 million in restitution along with a fine amounting to $70 million. Kozlowski was released from prison in 2015 after serving six and half years. Reportedly, Kozlowski’s net worth is $600 million. 

3. Al Capone 

Al Capone is infamous for being a gangster who dominated organized crime in the U.S. As the “crime czar” in Chicago, Capone would go down in history for running gambling rings, prostitution, bootlegging rackets, and attacking rival gangs.  

Despite all of Capone’s alleged criminal activity that included murder and extortion, what eventually brought him down was 22 counts of federal income-tax evasion. He was sentenced to 11 years in prison and fines and court costs amounting to $50,000, roughly $1 million today. In 1932, Capone entered an Atlanta jail and was transferred to Alcatraz prison in 1934. 

Your tax liabilities may not be worth millions. And you may think that the IRS only pays special attention to celebrities, CEOs, and crime bosses. However, the IRS is also vigilant in making sure that all taxpayers, regardless of occupation and income bracket, comply with their constitutional responsibilities.  

The tax professionals at Golden Tax Relief have decades of experience in tax planning. If you recognize the signs in yourself or your business that it’s time for expert tax planning, click here for a consultation or call 844 229 8936. 

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