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.

Las Vegas couple pleads guilty to fake insurance scam

Michael and Melissa Woodward pleaded guilty Wednesday to state tax fraud and other charges. The Woodwards were charged with 11 counts each, including grand theft, tax fraud, residential burglary, theft from an elder and selling insurance without authorization.

The couple are alleged to have scammed 240 to 250 elderly people in San Diego County and 150 to 200 more people in the rest of California with fake insurance plans. In total, the victims lost about $3.6 million to the Woodwards. Other victims have been identified in Washington, Oregon, Minnesota, and Texas. Their crimes span 10 years.

Michael faces 11 years in jail, followed by parole and pay restitution. Melissa is looking at a year in jail and five years of probation, as well as payment of restitution.