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.

Four IRS employees will be interviewed in a Congress probe

IRS employees John Shafer, Gary Muthert, Liz Hofacre and Joseph Herr will all be interviewed by Congressional investigators as a part of the probe. One employee, Holly Paz, has already been questioned.

It has not yet been determined who, exactly, was targeting groups with “Tea Party” or “patriot” in their names. This is what the investigators are hoping to uncover.

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.