South Florida Residents Sentenced To 10 Years
On February 4, 2011, United States District Court Judge William J. Zloch sentenced Mauricio Cohen Assor, 77, and his son Leon Cohen-Levy, 46 each to 120 months, with additional orders of restitution in the amounts of $9.3M and $7..7M , respectively. Both men were convicted after a month long trial that took place in Ft. Lauderdale. Both men were accused of concealing assets from the U.S. Government and failing to report and pay income taxes on $49M to the IRS.
See the U.S. Dept. of Justice press release here
The Cohens used shell companies formed in countries that are often considered “tax havens” such as the British Virgin Islands, Panama, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein. United States persons are required under the Bank Secrecy Act to report their foreign bank accounts in which they have signatory authority and/or a financial interest in if the aggregate amount is greater than $10,000. The IRS has the authority to investigate violations of the Bank Secrecy Act and U.S. persons are required to file Form TDF 90-22.1 with the U.S. Treasury Department.
The Cohen prosecution was headed by an attorney from the Dept. of Justice, Tax Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida. Of particular note is that the Southern District of Florida (which extends from Ft. Pierce to Key West and includes Miami, Palm Beach, and Ft. Lauderdale) has been particularly active in tax prosecutions. The significance for South Florida residents who have failed to properly report and disclose foreign bank accounts and who have failed to report all their income and pay the appropriate tax to the IRS is that their risk of investigation and prosecution is much greater than in other parts of the country.
The tax litigation and white collar defense lawyers at Fuerst Ittleman PL are experienced in handling all phases of criminal tax investigations and defend tax prosecutions.