Criminal Tax Fraud
Whether you are targeted or arrested by a New York State agency or a similar agency working for or with the Federal government, facing a tax auditor or tax enforcement agent is a tremendously terrifying proposition. As experienced New York criminal defense attorneys and New York Criminal Tax Fraud defense lawyers can explain, not only are the potential financial repercussions high, but incarceration for this white collar crime can extend well over multiple decades. Simply put, if you are contacted by any arm of New York State government from a prosecutorial agency such as a District Attorney’s Office or the New York State Attorney General’s Office to the New York State Department of Tax and Finance or an organization involved in tax enforcement, take the steps to protect yourself immediately. Compounding your precarious legal situation by making admissions or voluntarily turning over records can, and often will, strengthen and exacerbate a future arrest, indictment or trial charging a violation of a New York State Tax Law Article 1800 crime.
- Criminal Tax Fraud in the Fifth Degree: NY Tax Law 1802
- Criminal Tax Fraud in the Fourth Degree: NY Tax Law 1803
- Criminal Tax Fraud in the Third Degree: NY Tax Law 1804
- Criminal Tax Fraud in the Second Degree: NY Tax Law 1805
- Criminal Tax Fraud in the First Degree: NY Tax Law 1806
Just like most crimes in the New York Penal Law, a violation and ultimate conviction for a Criminal Tax Fraud crime as set forth in the New York State Tax Law can result in varying degrees of incarceration. While the lowest offense may be a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail, the most serious of the New York Criminal Tax Fraud crimes can lead to a term of imprisonment with a mandatory minimum of up to three years and a mandatory maximum of up to twenty five years. In between, the punishment can be as great as four, seven or fifteen years in a New York State prison.The “Tax Fraud Act”: New York Tax Law 1801
Before reaching the stage of incarceration, probation or any other sentence, prosecutors must first and foremost either convince your criminal lawyer that proof of your guilt exists beyond a reasonable doubt or actually prove the same at a trial. Central to such a case, prosecutors are required to establish that you committed what is called a “tax fraud act.” As defined in New York State Tax Law 1801, a “tax fraud act” includes the following examples (in no particular order):
- Failing to submit a tax report or return
- Filing a fraudulent tax return or other document that has materially phony or fake information
- Not submitting or remitting a particular tax that is due to the State of New York
- Failing to pay taxes
- Scheming to cheat the State of New York by making or providing fraudulent representations that are material and related to a tax
Not a complete list, consult with your criminal lawyer or Criminal Tax Fraud attorney to ascertain whether your conduct is, as alleged by the Attorney General or a District Attorney, identified as a “tax fraud act.”Adding it All Up: Elevating the Degree of a Criminal Tax Fraud Offense
While there is no set rule, it is fairly common to see multiple “tax fraud acts” that form the basis of an arrest, indictment or trial for a Criminal Tax Fraud crime in New York City or elsewhere in the State of New York (keep in mind, however, one “tax fraud act” is sufficient to form the basis of a criminal charge). For example, you may be accused of withholding and not remitting sales tax over multiple reporting or remitting periods or you just refused to pay any tax in its totality on multiple occasions.
For the sake of these examples, let’s say you withheld wrongfully over the course of one year on four reporting periods $2,750.00, $2,000.00, $3,000.00 and $2,500.00. According to Fifth Degree New York State Criminal Tax Fraud, New York State Tax Law Section 1802, you have committed a “tax fraud act” and therefore could be prosecuted for the misdemeanor offense punishable by as much as one year in jail. Because none of these separate actions were “thefts” of more than $3,000.00, your alleged conduct would not rise to the level of Fourth Degree Criminal Tax Fraud, New York State Tax Law Section 1803. Seemingly, this is great news for an accused because Criminal Tax Fraud in the Fourth Degree is a class “E” felony with a potential sentence of up to four years in prison. However, the criminal law allows prosecutors to circumvent this issue an “add up” all of your violations of the Criminal Tax Fraud law if the dollars come from the same scheme. In this scenario, because the totality of the wrongful withholding is in excess of $10,000.00, prosecutors could charge you with Third Degree Criminal Tax Fraud in violation of New York State Tax Law Section 1804. Now, your criminal exposure is as much as seven years in prison.Criminal Tax Fraud & Associated Crimes
Although there are a wealth of crimes that prosecutors can pursue for an alleged theft of State money including Grand Larceny and Criminal Possession of Stolen Property, Assistant District Attorneys often seek to charge offenders with other white collar crimes relating to the falsification of documents. These crimes can include such felonies as Offering a False Instrument for Filing, Falsifying Business Records and Forgery. Whatever the degree of Criminal Tax Fraud alleged, it is rare that this offense is the only crime presented to a New York Grand Jury.
- Grand Larceny: New York Penal Law Article 155
- Criminal Possession of Stolen Property: New York Penal Law Article 165
- Offering a False Instrument for Filing: New York Penal Law Article 175
- Falsifying Business Records: New York Penal Law Article 175
- Forgery: New York Penal Law Article 170
- Federal Tax Fraud and Tax Evasion
Whatever degree of Criminal Tax Fraud you are investigated, arrested or indicted for, this offense and other associated felonies can easily land you in prison, end your career and derail your future. Do not compound the precarious situation you face. Educate yourself on the law and consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can identify potential defenses and work with you to put them into motion.
- Theft Convictions: Collateral Consequences
- Theft Crimes Sentencing Guidelines
- Defenses to Theft & Larceny
For a wealth of information on Criminal Tax Fraud and other theft and larceny crimes in New York, please review this website through the links above as well as CrottySaland.Com . Additionally, the NewYorkTheftAndLarcenyLawyersBlog.Com and applicable sections of the NewYorkCriminalLawyerBlog.Com, both drafted by the New York criminal attorneys and former Manhattan prosecutors at Crotty Saland PC, have extensive information on legal decisions, criminal statues and analysis of cases in the news.
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