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Amato Case: 5-Years in Prison for Secret Russian Bank Accounts | FBAR News

Failure to file FBARs for secret Russian bank accounts and income tax evasion led to the imposition of a five-year prison sentence on a New Jersey chiropractor. This is the essence of the new IRS victory in the Amato case. Let’s explore this case in more detail, because the case demonstrates the long reach of the FBAR requirement even in unusual jurisdictions, like Russia.

The Amato Case: Factual Background

Mr. Amato is a US citizen. He was a chiropractor who resided and worked in New Jersey. He practiced medicine through two corporate entities: Chiropractic Care Consultations, Inc. (“Chiropractic Care”) and Accident Recovery Physical Therapy, Inc. (“Accident Recovery”).

It appears that, between January 1, 2013 and December 7, 2016, Mr. Amato over-billed at least six insurance companies. In many cases, he was simply billing for services that he never actually rendered. For these crimes, he was separately charged by the US Department of Justice. On April 9, 2018, in his guilty plea, Mr. Amato admitted that his over-billings were over $1 million.

In order to hide these illegal proceeds, sometime between January 1, 2013 and December 7, 2016, Mr. Amato opened bank accounts in Russia and wired over $1.5 million to these accounts.

On September 14, 2015, Mr. Amato filed his 2014 tax return, stating that he had no taxable income and he owed no taxes. In reality, his 2014 taxable income was about $561,258.

At about the same time, Mr. Amato also deposited checks from his businesses into accounts owned by his minor children. He never disclosed these checks as part of his earnings on his US tax returns. Additionally, there were more funds deposited in his corporate accounts which he also never disclosed on his personal and corporate tax returns.

The Amato Case: IRS investigation and Criminal Prosecution

It appears that the 2014 return was the trigger and huge contributing factor to the commencement of the subsequent IRS investigation of Mr. Amato’s dealings. In 2018, the US Department of Justice (the “DOJ”) filed criminal charges against Mr. Amato with respect to two different types of violations.

The first charge was tax evasion pursuant to 26 USC 7201. It was directly tied to his 2014 tax return, stating that Mr. Amato knowing and willfully attempted to evade his income taxes due.

The second charge was made under 31 USC 5314 & 5322(b) – these are FBAR criminal penalties. Again, the DOJ chose to focus only on 2014 FBAR.

The Amato Case: Tax Evasion and FBAR Criminal Sentence

As part of his deal with the DOJ, Mr. Amato pleaded guilty to both counts. On May 7, 2019, as a result of his failure to pay a large amount in taxes and failure to file FBARs, the New Jersey federal court sentenced him to five years in prison.

Contact Sherayzen Law Office for Professional Help With the Reporting of Your Undisclosed Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts

The Amato case is one more reminder of the legal dangers that US taxpayers with undisclosed foreign accounts face. You do not want to be in Mr. Amato’s position.

This is why you need to contact Sherayzen Law Office for professional help with the reporting of your undisclosed foreign bank and financial accounts. We have helped hundreds of US taxpayers with the voluntary disclosure of their foreign assets and foreign income, and We Can Help You!

Contact Us Today to Schedule Your Confidential Consultation!

FBAR United States Definition | FBAR Lawyer & Attorney Minneapolis MN

The United States is defined differently with respect to different parts (and, sometimes even within the same part) of the United States Code. There is a specific definition of the United States for FBAR Purposes. In this brief essay, I would like to discuss the FBAR United States Definition and explain its importance to FBAR compliance.

Importance of FBAR United States Definition to FinCEN Form 114

Before we discuss the FBAR United States Definition, we need to the context in which it is used and why it is important for US international tax purposes. FBAR is a common acronym for the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts, FinCEN Form 114. It used to be known under a different name – TD F 90-22.1.

FBAR is part of Title 31, Bank Secrecy Act, but the IRS has administered FBAR since 2001. The IRS primarily uses FBAR not to fight financial crimes (which was its original purpose), but for tax enforcement. In particular, the IRS found that FBAR is an extremely useful tool for combating tax evasion associated with a strategy of hiding money in secret foreign bank accounts.

FBAR’s draconian penalties is what makes this form the favorite with the IRS, but much hated by US taxpayers. The penalties range from a jail sentence to civil willful penalties and even civil non-willful penalties which may exceed a taxpayer’s net worth.

It is precisely these penalties which make it absolutely necessary for US taxpayers to understand when they need to file FBARs. One of the aspects of this understanding is the FBAR United States Definition, which allows one to determine two things. First, the FBAR United States Definition is used to define the United States for the purposes of the Substantial Presence Test. Second, the FBAR United States Definition allows one to classify bank accounts as foreign or domestic for FBAR compliance purposes.

FBAR United States Definition

31 CFR 1010.100(hhh) contains the FBAR United States Definition. Under this provision, the United States is defined as: the States of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Indian Lands (as defined in the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act) and the territories and insular possessions of the United States. As of February 3, 2019, the US territories and insular possessions refer to: Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, US Virgin Islands and Northern Mariana Islands.

Contact Sherayzen Law Office for Professional FBAR Help

If you have undisclosed foreign accounts, you should contact Sherayzen Law Office for professional help. We have successfully helped hundreds of US taxpayers around the world with their FBAR issues, and We can help You! Contact Us Today to Schedule Your Confidential Consultation!