Jack A. Townsend

Jack A. Townsend Blogs

Latest from Jack A. Townsend

In United States v. Pursley (on appeal to CA 5, Dkt. No. 20-20454), Pursley was convicted of 1 count of conspiracy related to tax and three counts of tax evasion, two for Pursley’s taxes and one for the taxes of another.  See the judgment here.  Pursley was a lawyer in Houston who enabled tax evasion by a client by moving untaxed monies from foreign accounts into the U.S. without accounting to the IRS for the unpaid tax.  Pursley’s client ultimately joined the OVDP, thus avoiding his own criminal exposure.  As required under the OVDP, the client had to disclose…
In In re Grand Jury, Nos. 21-55085 & 21-55145 (9th Cir. 9/13/21), CA 9 here, the Court held that the “because of” test imported from the work-product context did not apply to the attorney-client privilege and instead applied a predominant purpose test for dual-purpose communications.  The opinion is short (14 pages) and the summary offered by the Court is good, so I just copy and paste the summary here. Grand Jury Subpoenas             The panel affirmed the district court’s orders holding appellants, a company and a law firm, in contempt for failure to comply with grand jury subpoenas related to a…
In United States v. Shun, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 161023 (W.D.N.Y. Aug. 25, 2021), Cl here, in a tax crimes prosecution (conspiracy and tax perjury), one of the questions discussed in the opinion is whether an attempt by IRS CI agents assisting the prosecutor in the case to interview an expert designated by the defense was a violation of the defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to counsel.  The discussion is short but instructive, so I just cut and paste (Slip Op. pp. 4-7):  Shun’s Motion for Relief Based on Violations of her Sixth Amendment Rights             On July 22, 2021,…
In Rodgers v. United States,   (9th Cir. 7/6/21), CA9 here (unpublished and nonprecedential), the Court held (based on a prior appeal) that the return preparer penalty under § 6694(b)(2)(A) for a “willful attempt in any manner to understate the liability for tax on the return or claim” requires “specific intent to understate tax liability on tax returns or claims.”  Basically, the panel held, the civil penalty requires the same level of intent as § 7206, which is the Cheek-type of intent – specific intent to violate a known legal duty.  (The panel opinion does not cite Cheek, but that is the…
I have written on the question of whether the willful blindness concept permits conviction of a knowledge element crime upon the finding of willful blindness or, instead, permits only an inference of the knowledge element upon showing willful blindness.  See blog entries here.  In other words, if the criminal statute requires a knowledge element, will a showing of willful blindness requireconviction or only permit conviction.  The key in jury cases is the instruction.  In United States v. Henson, ___ F.4th___, 2021 U.S. App. LEXIS 24818, at *37-38 (10th Cir. Aug. 19, 2021), CA10 hereand GS here, the…
In Daugerdas v. Commissioner (T.C. Dkt.7350-20L Order Dated 8/11/21), here, the Tax Court (Judge Goeke) in addressed some issues arising in a CDP proceeding arising from a lien filing related to a restitution-based assessment (“RBA”) under § 6201(a)(4) for tax loss arising from Title 18 crimes of conviction.  Long-term readers of this blog may recognize the petition, Paul M. Daugerdas.  A link to posts mentioning Daugerdas is here(sorted by relevance but can be sorted in reverse chronological order). I find the order confusing so I will try to work through the order adding some of my own nuance…
 I have posted to SSRN the 2021 editions of my Federal Tax Procedure Book.  I have not been formally notified by SSRN that they have been accepted (whatever that means; the author paper page shows them as “Submitted;” when accepted the status will change to “Distributed.”).  Nevertheless, it appears that they are available for the community to download.  The links to download are here: Federal Tax Procedure (2021 Student Ed.), SSRN here. Federal Tax Procedure (2021 Practitioner Ed.), SSRN here. Looking toward the next editions in August 2022, I am constantly revising the 2021 edition which became the working draft…
The USAO SDNY has issued this press release:  Manhattan U.S. Attorney Announces Agreement With Bermudian Bank To Resolve Criminal Tax Investigation: The Bank of N.T. Butterfield & Son Limited Pays $5.6 Million in Forfeiture and Restitution; Receives Non-Prosecution Agreement as a Result of its Cooperation, here.  The combined NPA and Statement of Facts are linked in the press release; direct link is here. Key excerpts from the press release: Audrey Strauss, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Stuart M. Goldberg, Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Tax Division, and James…
There is a U.S. tax compliance problem with offshore activity often beyond the ability of the IRS to obtain or easily obtain relevant information and ensure that tax is properly reported and collected.  A prominent topic on this blog has been the FBAR reporting obligation that, as relevant to tax, assists in U.S. tax compliance with respect to foreign financial accounts.  A similar problem exists for foreign trusts with U.S. owners and beneficiaries and, not surprisingly, there are obligations for the U.S. owners and beneficiaries to report information to the IRS useful for tax compliance. In Wilson v. United States,…
In Harrington v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2021-95, GS here, the Court (Judge Lauber) determined deficiencies and the civil fraud penalty for a taxpayer who played the offshore account game (a pernicious variation of the audit lottery) and lost.  The taxpayer was a UBS depositor; UBS disclosed the taxpayer’s information and documents.  And the rest was, in a sense, inevitable. I won’t detail the particular facts of the taxpayer’s audit lottery gaming, but will discuss the role of credibility. I offer a series of excerpts directly or indirectly addressing the Court’s credibility assessments which did not go well for the…