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Tax fraud: An offense that comes with severe consequences

Any person who deals with taxes - be it an accountant, business owner, manager or even a common worker - can find him- or herself facing tax fraud charges. Let's face it, tax laws are complicated. When it comes time to file your taxes, you're always left with the feeling that says, "Did I get all the exemptions I'm qualified for?"

When sitting in an office all day, staring at financial documents, receipts and tax information, the lines between what you can and cannot do when filing taxes are often blurry. This is why so many professionals in New Jersey and throughout the United States get charged with tax evasion, tax fraud and other tax-related crimes when they didn't know they had done anything wrong.

No matter how your criminal tax charges came about - whether you did something by accident or did something on purpose you're not proud of - you'll want to take the charges seriously and defend yourself in court.

A recent example of tax fraud

Let's take a look at a recent case, where the federal government convicted three men of tax fraud in south Florida. Prosecutors accused the men of engaging in a tax fraud conspiracy to defraud the United States government. Among the charges were various crimes relating to the unauthorized possession of Social Security numbers and identity theft.

Federal prosecutors claimed that the men filed fraudulent tax returns by stealing other people's identities, and then taking the return money for themselves. Allegedly, they stole $2.3 million in total.

The men -aged 29, 30 and 33 - will now spend multiple years in federal prison. Two of them received sentences of approximately five years, plus three years of probation after that. It is unknown what gains these men made during their criminal defense proceedings - if any.

Tax fraud defense is serious business

In most cases of tax fraud, a white collar criminal defense lawyer can pursue strategies to try and reduce the chance and/or severity of punishment. These strategies might include trying to negotiate a plea bargain by pleading guilty in exchange for a dramatically reduced punishment. They could also include defending against the criminal charges outright by refuting the charges and illuminating why the prosecution was wrong.

By speaking with an experienced criminal defense lawyer, New Jersey residents accused of federal tax crimes can ascertain what strategies are most appropriate for their cases.

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