Mad Scientist Gets Prison Time for Using His Dog and Cat in a Tax Avoidance Scheme

You know, I often joke that my cats Buck and Cash are interns, assistants, accountants, and CEOs of the fictional company that is my home office. But this guy clearly took that too far when he used his pets to avoid taxes:

[Scientist Mathew] Zuckerman's tax-avoidance schemes included naming his dog and cat as directors of a company called "Hyperpanel University," a Nevada business, which was listed as the owner of a $1.2 million Woody Creek home near Aspen. The home was actually owned by Mathew and Sandra Zuckerman. Another shell business owned the deed of their $1.8 million Tuluca Lake, Calif., mansion.

"This is an extremely serious offense. … There is a deviousness to all of that as well," Blackburn said. "Dr. Zuckerman is one lucky man that he was only charged with one offense."

The judge told Sandra Zuckerman that although her husband was mostly to blame, "you are not entirely an innocent spouse."

Forget the wife, are the dog and cat eligible for innocent pet relief?

Zuckerman will pay the IRS $693,706 in restitution and do two years in prison. The dog and cat were not available for comment.

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