Jack A. Townsend

Jack A. Townsend Blogs

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In United States v. Kronowitz (S.D. Fla. No. 19-cv-62648 Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law dated 6/3/21), CL here, the Court sustained the Government’s assertion of the FBAR civil willful penalty.  The facts were bad for Kronowitz in trying to avoid the penalty.  He was an accountant and regular tax return preparer over many years.  He claimed inter alia (slip op. 11): He admitted to seeing hundreds of Schedule Bs, and being familiar with the purpose of Schedule B and its requirements, but testified that he probably did not read the instructions because he was more concerned with…
Today, I revisit one of my “rant” topics – willful blindness (aka deliberate ignorance, conscious avoidance, etc.).  My past rants have been about using the concept of willful blindness as a substitute for a specific knowledge requirement in criminal statutes, particularly the willfully element of most Title 26 tax crimes.  To remind, that willfully element, often referred to as the Cheek interpretation of the willfully element in tax crimes, is specific intent to violate a known legal duty.  Cheek v. United States, 498 U.S. 192, 201 (1991).  Such a specific intent requires that a defendant know the facts that create…
In United States v. Goldsmith,  (S.D. Cal. 3:20-cv-00087-BEN-KSC Order dated 5/25/21), CL here and TN here, the Court granted summary judgment to the Government in a FBAR civil willful penalty FBAR collection suit.  The Court held that on the facts presented on the motion for summary judgment, the Government was entitled to summary judgment on Goldsmith’s liability.   It is a long opinion (73 pages).  The facts are ugly for Mr. Goldsmith and are recounted in detail on pp. 2-12 of the opinion.  On the facts presented and found for purposes of the motion, the Court held that  1. Mr.…
Steven Brill offers this New York Times book review of Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment by Daniel Kahneman, Olivier Sibony and Cass R. Sunstein (NYT 5/18/21), here.  The book discusses noises in human judgment defined as “unwanted variability in judgments.”  Essentially, it discusses how noise prevents consistency in judgments where consistency should have a high value. Criminal sentencing draws the authors’ attention.  Readers of this blog will recall that prior to the federal Sentencing Guidelines in the 1980’s, federal sentencing was much a crap shoot, with sentencing for similar crimes varying all over the lot.  Some described sentencing…
I noted previously that a petition for certiorari was filed in United States v. Flynn, 969 F.3d 873 (8th Cir. 2020), cert. docketed, 20-1129 (Feb. 17, 2021) and that the Government was to file an answer on May 19, 2021.  See Fifth Circuit Holds that the Defraud/Klein Conspiracy Does Not Have Pending Proceeding Element; Update on Cert Petition in Related Case (Federal Tax Crimes 5/8/21), here.  The Solicitor General filed the answer today, a Brief in Opposition, here. Just to review the bidding as of today, the following key documents are on file per the docket entries, here
Some FBAR willful penalty collection suits are relatively bare bones, asserting only the essentials.  In United States v. Gaynor, (M.D. Fla. Dkt.  2:21-cv-00382 Dkt # 1 Complaint 5/14/21), CL here, the Government goes beyond the essentials with a detailed recounting of damning facts (see pars. 13-92). The Complaint breaks down the damning facts in the following categories: A. Decedent inherited her late husband’s Swiss bank account B. Decedent repeatedly met with Swiss bankers C. Decedent moved her assets to other Swiss banks to avoid tax compliance D. Decedent hid the offshore accounts from her CPA E. Decedent failed to…
The Supreme Court this morning decided CIC Services, LLC v. IRS, 583 U.S. ___ (2021), here, holding that § 7421(a), the Anti-Injunction Act, did not preclude pre-enforcement review of an IRS Notice requiring “material advisors” in  micro-captive transactions to report information.  I have posted a blog on my Federal Tax Procedure Blog, Supreme Court Holds in CIC Services that IRS Micro-Captive Notice May Be Contested Pre-Enforcement (5/17/21), here.  The Supreme Court holding implicates tax procedure issues, but one excerpt may be interesting to tax crimes enthusiasts (slip Op. 11-12). Third, violation of the Notice is punishable not only…
DOJ Tax issued this press release:  Florida Man Sentenced for Evading Taxes on Millions in Secret Offshore Bank Accounts (2/14/21), here.  Key excerpts are: A resident of Palm Beach County, Florida, was sentenced to 24 months in prison for not reporting his foreign financial accounts from 2006 through 2015 and for willfully evading the assessment of millions in taxes from 2007 through 2014.  According to court documents, from 2003 through 2009, Dusko Bruer owned and operated a company that bought U.S.-made agricultural machinery and parts and sold them throughout the world. Bruer’s company had numerous employees and reaped millions…
DOJ Tax issued this press release:  Switzerland’s Largest Insurance Company and Three Subsidiaries Admit to Conspiring with U.S. Taxpayers to Hide Assets and Income in Offshore Accounts (5/13/21), here.  Relevant excerpts are: Swiss Life Holding AG, Swiss Life (Liechtenstein) AG, Swiss Life (Singapore) Pte. Ltd., and Swiss Life (Luxembourg) S.A. Enter into Deferred Prosecution Agreement for Criminal Misconduct; Agree to Collectively Pay More than $77 Million The Department of Justice today filed a criminal information charging Swiss Life Holding AG (Swiss Life Holding), Swiss Life (Liechtenstein) AG (Swiss Life Liechtenstein), Swiss Life (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. (Swiss Life Singapore), and…
In an original willful FBAR collection complaint filed in United States v.Beyder (D. N.J. Dkt. 3:21-cv-10864 5/6/21 ), here, the following interesting allegations are made: 17. Larisa Beyder has refused to provide bank statements for the BSI ‘999 account.  18. Larisa Beyder’s father was indicted in 2010 and later pled guilty for a criminal offense related to a failure to file FBARs. Larisa Beyder was the Third-Party Custodian for her father while he awaited sentencing. Larisa Beyder had her BSI ‘999 account at this time.  * * * * 30. Eduard Beyder has refused to provide bank statements for…