A Tax Expert Won't Help You Hide Criminal Income

There's a time-honored profession that goes by the informal name “mob accountant”—the tax expert who magically transforms millions of dollars in criminal revenue into a legitimate-seeming source of income. If, say, you derive the bulk of your income from drug dealing, your accountant may encourage you to file a yearly tax return, declare a small percentage of your earnings, and say that you're a self-employed pharmaceutical sales rep. (The danger of not paying any taxes at all, of course, is that this will throw up a red flag to the feds and possibly draw attention to your criminal activity.)

Can you enlist a reputable tax attorney to whitewash your criminal proceeds—for example, by erecting a “shell” corporation that misrepresents the nature of your business, or laundering your money by investing it in legitimate enterprises and then cashing out? Absolutely not. Once a tax attorney knowingly aids and abets a criminal enterprise, he places his own career and freedom at risk—a conviction (or even a serious investigation) will impair his reputation to the extent that he'll never be able to attract legitimate clients again. In most cases, of course, a conviction will also entail a lifelong ban from the tax-preparation business!

If you have earned most of your money in any given year from a criminal enterprise, and you still wish to file your taxes for appearance's sake, you'll have no choice but to rely on a “mob accountant.” But if you want to come clean, and make the best deal you can with the government ahead of a pending criminal trial, a legitimate tax attorney may be able to help. Questions? Contact the Oklahoma tax experts at Travis W. Watkins, PC (800-721-7054) to find out what we can do for you!

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