September 20, 2021

Sentences

Satyam Founder Sentenced to 6 Months in Prison for Massive, Obvious Fraud

Remember Satyam? That Satyam? Yeah, it's been awhile for us, too. Satyam's PwC India auditors already received a lifetime ban, but what about Satyam's founder? Surely you've been wondering what sort of slap on the wrist he'd get for one of the largest and most blatant frauds in history? Wonder no longer: A local court […]

Scott London Sentenced to 14 Months in the Can and a $100k Fine

Let this serve as a reminder of what can happen when you meet shady looking dudes in a Starbucks parking lot.

Former Dixon Comptroller Rita Crundwell Gets Nearly 20 Years

I truly hope this news means Colin never writes about her ever, ever again: Disgraced former Dixon comptroller Rita Crundwell was sentenced today to about 19 1/2 years in prison for what authorities have called the largest municipal fraud in the country’s history. U.S. District Judge Philip Reinhard ordered Crundwell taken into custody immediately to […]

Ja Rule Wouldn’t Be in This Mess If He Had a Decent Accountant

Let’s be honest though, “decent” is probably pushing it. A “below average” accountant could have slapped some numbers on a 1040 and hit the button.

Ja got twenty-eight months for failing to file income tax returns and claims that “[I]n no way attempted to deceive the government or do anything illegal,” he said. “I didn’t know how to deal with these finances, and I didn’t have people to guide me, so I made mistakes.” Anyone near Oneida that’s looking for a new client should feel free to drop by the correctional facility to make a pitch. [HP]

Wesley Snipes’s Prison Sentence Seems Pretty Fair

After suffering in tax and appellate court purgatory for several years, Wesley Snipes is finally reporting to prison today for his conviction of willful failure to file tax returns. There’s a whole slew of stories out there on the subject because a celebrity is going to prison, in case you weren’t aware, is important news.

However, as we told you about last week, some people aren’t convinced that the sentence is fair.

Responding to a post by Tim Cavanagh at Reason, rather than embrace mostly inflammatory nonsense, our friend Joe Kristan writes an objective analysis to get to the bottom of the debate:

Mr. Snipes was convicted of three counts of willfully failing to file tax returns for three years. The federal guidelines for prison sentences on tax crimes are largely based on the “tax loss” determined for the crime. Mr. Snipes’ “tax loss” was determined to be over $40 million, which would by itself indicate a sentence of at least 78 months – 6 1/2 years — under the guidelines. Since the maximum sentence for three counts of failure to file is the three years he got, the sentence is actually smaller than the guidelines would indicate.

Now, you may be saying to yourself, “The sentence is longer because a nasty judge is making an example out of one of the most important American artists in vampire cinema!” Joe checked into that too:

But Mr. Snipes still has a legitimate complaint if he’s the only person getting jailed for criminal failure to file, or he’s getting a much longer sentence than others. Is his sentence exceptional?

I don’t know of any statistical study of tax sentences, so we’ll go to the Google. (prison failure to file -snipes). The first page of results includes:

Anthony Kevin Slicker: $265,477 tax loss, 12 month sentence for failing to file for 1 year.

Steven A. Roebuck, Dentist: unknown tax loss, two-year sentence for failing to file for two years.

Arlan Turley, Dentist: 18 months, unknown tax loss, failure to file for two years.

Contrary to Tim Cavenaugh, then, other people get the maximum sentence 12-month per-year for willful failure to file, even with much lower tax losses.

Will the culture suffer? That’s up for debate. But willful failure to file taxes still happens to be a crime with punishment guidelines. If Wes was really saving all of us from vampires maybe the judge would have a good reason to make an exception. Although, that could make for a decent screenplay (straight to video, natch). Three years should be enough time to nail it down.

Area Man Sentenced to Serve Pizzas in Lieu of Jail for Sales Tax Fraud

Buffalo. City Mission. Tuesdays. For a year. Unless you’re really hard up for some nourishment, we would avoid with extreme prejudice. This will make the Denny’s freebies look like a mess hall at Fort Bragg.

Joseph J. Jacobbi, 57, operator of Casa-Di-Pizza, a popular Elmwood Avenue restaurant, was spared a jail term on his massive sales tax fraud case, but the judge Monday ordered him to deliver 12 sheet pizzas to the City Mission once a week on Tuesdays for the next 52 weeks, beginning [yesterday].

After Jacobbi turned over a check for $25,000 — part of the $104,295.31 court officials said he withheld from the state between March 2004 and the end of May 2008 — the judge ordered the weekly pizza deliveries as a form of community service.

“I will leave the choice of toppings up to you,” he told the nonplussed restaurant owner.

Not that we don’t appreciate the judge’s creative sentence but shouldn’t the people at the mission get to choose the toppings?

Oh, wait…

Tax cheat sentenced to serve … pizzas [Buffalo News via TaxProf]

Other Than a Small Matter of Evading $20 Million in Taxes, That Petters Accountant Is a Stand-up Guy

Wehmhoff “did not set out to commit tax fraud for Tom Petters, but slowly became aware of it, then did nothing to halt it, and eventually was right in the middle of it, preparing and filing returns he knew to be false,” the government attorneys wrote. Prosecutors also called attention to Wehmhoff’s otherwise “unblemished” professional history and “striking” remorse. [MSPBJ]