September’s Amusing Tax Convictions

David Seruya, a Brooklyn business owner, recently pleaded guilty to tax evasion, by underreporting the income he received from the sale of his business back to the corporation.  In 2014, Seruya agreed to sell his home warranty business a total of more than $4.1 million, which included a lump sum payment and installment payments spread out over 24 months. Seruya underreported to his return preparer the actual amount of income he received from the sale of his stock. In addition, Seruya did not inform his return preparer about income received from canceled mortgage debt. As a result, Seruya caused his return preparer to prepare and file false income tax returns for the tax years 2014 through 2016 and caused a shortcoming of nearly $1.1 million on his taxes.  

From approximately 2009 through 2019 Scott Lawrence owned and operated Turn Two Inc., a Nevada real estate company. In March 2010, the IRS levied Lawrence’s personal bank account to satisfy an existing tax debt he owed to the IRS, and at that point, Lawrence began actively manipulating his financials to evade the levy. In all, as a result of his evasive conduct, Lawrence owes more than $1.9 million in restitution to the IRS for his delinquent tax debt from 2005 through 2019.  He faces up- to five years in prison for these actions, and still owes the IRS over one million dollars.  …And no tax evasion report would be complete without the unscrupulous business owner skimming from the employee payroll tax account!  Steven Heppenheimer, 73, owned and operated a temporary employment business under two names, PTP Staffing Associates Inc. and PPS Associates Inc. From 2013 through 2017, Heppenheimer did not file any of the required quarterly payroll tax returns.  During that time, Heppenheimer withheld approximately $292,000 in payroll taxes from his employees’ wages, but he did not pay over any of these funds to the IRS.  He’ll likely face prison, fines, and restitution for his actions

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