Court finds that tax evasion convictions show moral turpitude

After veterinarian John Cottingham pled guilty to two felony charges relating to failure to pay payroll taxes, he faced professional disciplinary charges from the South Carolina Board of Veterinary Examiners.

The board’s charges included a reprimand and fine, among other penalties. Cottingham appealed the discipline, saying that the board had exceeded its authority.

Cottingham had cited a state statute that turned out only to apply to people who were applying for initial licenses, not current license-holders.

When appealing charges, on should make sure the grounds of the appeal are valid. There can be unintended consequences such as being responsible for the other side’s attorney fees and costs. More importantly, if the underlying case does not have a proper record (evidence, objections, etc.), the grounds for appeal my be strictly limited.

Tax Preparer Accused of $1M in IRS Fraud

A tax preparer from Lemon Grove was arrested Monday in Arizona on suspicion of carrying out a scheme to steal Social Security numbers, file false tax returns and defraud the Internal Revenue Service, authorities reported.

IRS agents took Cynthia Lozano, 31, into custody in Phoenix, where she will make her first appearance in federal court on Tuesday, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Diego.
According to a grand jury indictment, the suspect used her business, CLozano Income Tax, to submit fraudulent federal income tax returns seeking bogus refunds.
Starting in 2010, Lozano allegedly made false statements that prompted the IRS to issue refunds under EIC provisions, which allow for a refundable federal income-tax credit for low- to moderate-income individuals and families as a way to offset the burden of Social Security taxes and to provide an incentive to work.
If a taxpayer’s EIC exceeds the amount of taxes actually owed, it results in the IRS paying a refund to the taxpayers, who claim and qualify for the credit.
According to charging documents, Lozano targeted more than 200 victims by filing fraudulent IRS 1040 forms in the their names. The taxpayers frequently were unaware that Lozano had used their Social Security numbers, thus also becoming victims of aggravated identity theft.
As a result, Lozano allegedly received over $1 million worth of fraudulent refunds from the IRS, which she laundered through an array of bank accounts and used, in part, to buy 20 properties in and around Phoenix.
Lozano’s indictment seeks forfeiture of the real estate to recompense the government and to prevent her from reaping a financial benefit from her alleged crimes.

Trial ordered for alleged ‘Be Cool Bandit’

COMMENTARY BY CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER SAM SPITAL AND ASSOCIATES:

‎”KFMB Channel 8 TV online edition updated its post on October 25, 2012 regarding what has been described as the ‘Be Cool Bandit’ who was charged with ten (10) separate robberies of gas stations and convenience stores, displaying a semi-automatic weapon and after his Preliminary Hearing now must face trial on these charges .
The defendant was reported to have a lengthy criminal history, including a previous robbery conviction; he was given the ‘Be Cool Bandit’ nickname because he told his victims ‘Just be cool, be cool.’ Several items recovered after his arrest including fingerprints and DNA evidence from the scenes of the crimes were part of the prosecution case. The article contained no reference to the attorney for, or any interview or statement made on behalf of, the defendant. Lacking anything further, it is mere speculation as to what defense and/or mitigation might be presented by criminal defense counsel. Without more, the defendant faces up to 35 years in prison if found guilty.”

SAM SPITAL AND ASSOCIATES, CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER

Feds charge 27 in California-Mexico meth ring

The continuing scourge of major crime represents a challenge for law enforcement and the judicial system that has limited resources, but the unintended consequences to those that are easily addicted to Meth often suffer life-long very complex and serious issues as well.

For defense lawyers, their role is to challenge law enforcement’s procedures and protocols that resulted in criminal charges being filed, and to advance their respective client’s rights and best interest by establishing legally sound defenses, focusing on the offense and not only defense, and to present all of the mitigating facts and circumstances. For a seasoned criminal defense lawyer who is passionate about obtaining winning solutions, this is an exciting part of the profession. For additional information and/or to obtain a free consultation, call Managing Attorney Sam Spital.