Notable Tax Crimes 2016: The Case of Disbarred Attorney, J. Scali

Preet Bharara, US Attorney for So. District of NY, announced on 7/8/16, the unsealing in White Plains federal court of a six count indictment of disbarred attorney, Joseph G. Scali for mail fraud, structuring cash transactions, obstructing the IRS, tax evasion, obstruction of justice, and perjury. According to the indictment, Scali who represented the seller of two tracts of land in Pennsylvania, schemed to defraud the prospective purchaser of that real estate of the $850,000 the latter had given him to hold in escrow by misappropriating those funds from his attorney trust/escrow account.

Additionally he was charged with structuring approximately $32k of cash deposits to that account.

The indictment charges that Scali corruptly endeavored to obstruct the IRS as follows:

1) Providing materially false, incomplete, and misleading information to a Revenue Officer of the Internal Revenue Service, namely information as to the years for which he had filed tax returns in the past, the reasons why Scali had not filed tax returns in the past, the reasons why Scali had not filed tax returns for certain years, and the amount of income received by Scali during tax year 2012;

2) Commingling client funds and personal funds in his Attorney Trust Account;

3) Paying for personal items directly out of his Attorney Trust Account;

4) Structuring Cash Deposits to his Attorney Trust Account;

5) Failing to file US Individual Income Tax Returns, Forms 1040 (tax years 2006-2012)

6) Failing to file US Corporate Income Tax Returns, Forms 1120 (tax years 2006-2012)

7) Failing to maintain required records concerning his Attorney Trust Account.

8) Income tax evasion for tax year 2012.

Additional indictment charges include perjury and obstruction of justice.

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