Jail for 4 who aided tax evasion
A federal judge on Monday sentenced to prison four promoters of a Florida company that juries found helped actor Wesley Snipes and dozens of other clients evade more than $1 billion in taxes.
U.S. District Chief Judge Royce C. Lamberth sentenced Eddie Ray Kahn, formerly of Sorrento, Fla., to 20 years in prison for conspiracy to defraud the United States and one count of mail fraud following his conviction in May by a federal jury in the District. Kahn is serving a previous 10-year sentence in connection with a 2008 conviction in the Snipes case.
In addition the judge sentenced Stephen C. Hunter, formerly of Candler, Fla., and Danny True, of Deltona, Fla., to 10 years for conspiracy and three counts of mail fraud, and Allan J. Tanguay, of Flagler Beach, Fla., to 10 years for conspiracy and one count of mail fraud.
Prosecutors said Kahn founded and ran American Rights Litigators/Guiding Light of God Ministries from 1996 to 2004, when it enrolled more than 4,000 customers from all 50 states and the District. The four men worked at ARL to sell "tax defiance schemes" that misrepresented the legality of the tax system to thwart IRS efforts to assess and collect taxes due and to send harass IRS employees.
The defendants continued their activity despite a December 2003 preliminary injunction issued against the company in response to a Justice Department lawsuit, prosecutors said.
"This is precisely the type of conduct the Tax Division is committed to stopping under the National Tax Defier Initiative,” said John A. DiCicco, Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Tax Division. “Those who promote illegal tax defiance face prosecution and lengthy prison terms.”
Snipes was sentenced to three years in prison in April 2008 for failing to file tax returns for three years, when the government said he owed $2.7 million. He has appealed his conviction.
Washington Post Editors
August 30, 2010; 6:28 PM ET
Categories: Celebrities , Financial Crimes , From the Courthouse , Spencer S. Hsu , The District
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