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!

Miami FBAR Lawyer | Foreign Accounts Tax Attorney

Are you looking for a competent Miami FBAR Lawyer to help you with the filing current or delinquent FBARs? Then, you need to understand who is considered to be a Miami FBAR Lawyer and why you should retain the services of Sherayzen Law Office, Ltd. – an international tax law firm that provides FBAR services to Miami residents.

Miami FBAR Lawyer Definition: Legal FBAR Services Provided in Miami, Florida

The definition of a Miami FBAR lawyer is determined based on the geographical spread of a lawyer’s legal services (i.e. where a lawyer offer his legal services) rather than his physical presence. This means that as along as a lawyer offers his FBAR services in Miami, Florida, he will be regarded as a Miami FBAR lawyer.

The reasoning for this definition is rather straightforward – FBAR is a creation of federal law, not state law. This means a lawyer can provide his services in Miami in the area of US international tax law and specifically FBARs irrespective of his actual location (but as long as he is licensed to practice law in any of the 50 states or District of Columbia).   Mr. Eugene Sherayzen of Sherayzen Law Office, Ltd. is an excellent example of such a lawyer -he is physically located in Minneapolis, but successfully provides FBAR services to its clients who reside in Miami.

What are these FBAR services? Mr. Sherayzen helps his clients with current (on-going) FBAR compliance as well as FBAR voluntary disclosures in cases where his clients did not timely comply with their required FBAR filings.

Miami FBAR Lawyer Must Be an International Tax Lawyer

Unlike location, the competence of a lawyer should be the key factor in retaining the services of a Miami FBAR lawyer. The knowledge of FBARs and US international tax law should be the key consideration in this matter.

Why is competence in US international tax law so important? Two Reasons. First, FBAR forms part of a much bigger area of US international tax law. Second, in almost all cases, the FBAR issues are highly related to other international tax compliance requirements. In fact, the interaction between FBAR and other international tax issues is one of the main considerations that determines a taxpayer’s legal position. This is why your Miami FBAR lawyer should be an expert not just FBARs, but US international tax law in general.

Miami FBAR Lawyer: the Local Ease-of-Communication Myth

There is a substantial minority of persons who prefer, in spite of all of the factors in favor of a, for example, Minneapolis-based Miami FBAR lawyer (better knowledge of the FBARs and international tax law, higher experience and sometimes even better fee structure), to retain a local Miami FBAR lawyer mainly due to their belief that it would easier to communicate and control a local lawyer.

This belief is nothing more than an illusion and can be highly harmful to a person’s case. First of all, the development of modern means of communication completely erase any purported advantages of ease of communication with a lawyer in your town. Email, Video Skype Conferences, telephone and text messages make your out-of-state Miami FBAR lawyer at least as equally accessible as your local Miami FBAR lawyer.

Second, it is simply naive to believe that your local lawyer will be meeting with you every day while the case lasts. In addition to the unnecessary expense of such a situation, the lawyer simply will not have the time or the necessity to do it. In reality, almost the entire course of communication between you and your local lawyer is going to be exactly the same as it would be between you and your out-of-state lawyer – i.e. email, telephone and even regular mail. The only exception may be your initial consultation and your final meeting; both of these meetings can be easily replaced by Skype.

Sherayzen Law Office is a Preferred Choice for Your Miami FBAR Lawyer

Sherayzen Law Office is one of the leading US international tax firms with respect to FBARs and US international tax law. Our strength lies in extensive knowledge of the subject matter and large experience concerning all major relevant areas of international tax law including offshore voluntary disclosures (in fact, we are one of the few firms which advised clients regarding all major IRS voluntary disclosure programs, including 2009 OVDP, 2011 OVDI, 2012 OVDP and 2014 OVDP, as well as Streamlined Procedures (Domestic and Foreign)).

This is why, if you are looking for a Miami FBAR lawyer, contact Sherayzen Law Office, Ltd. today to schedule Your Confidential Consultation!

2012 OVDP and Domestic Voluntary Disclosure

Sometimes a taxpayer who enters 2012 OVDP also has undisclosed domestic tax liability and the question arises with respect to how to handle this additional liability.

As was the case with the 2009 OVDP and the 2011 OVDI, the 2012 OVDP is available to taxpayers who have both offshore and domestic issues to disclose. The Voluntary Disclosure Practice requires an accurate and complete disclosure. Consequently, if there are undisclosed income tax liabilities from domestic sources in addition to those related to offshore accounts and assets, they must also be disclosed in the 2012 OVDP.

Therefore, when applying for the 2012 OVDP, the taxpayer should indicate on the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Letter that he is also making a domestic voluntary disclosure.

However, these domestic tax liabilities are not going to be covered by the same IRS agent who will be in charge of your 2012 OVDP. Rather, such voluntary disclosures will go through the traditional IRS voluntary disclosure program and another agent will be assigned to the case to deal specifically with domestic issues. This further means that there is a separate application process for acceptance into the traditional IRS voluntary disclosure program in addition to applying to the 2012 OVDP.

Contact Sherayzen Law Office for Legal Help with Domestic and Offshore Voluntary Disclosures

If you have undisclosed offshore accounts and foreign income in addition to undisclosed U.S.-source income, contact Sherayzen Law Office for help. Our experienced international tax firm will thoroughly review your case, determine your options with respect to foreign and domestic voluntary disclosures, prepare all of the necessary legal documents and tax forms, and vigorously represent your interests during your negotiations with the IRS.

FBAR: Reporting Foreign PayPal Accounts

Whether an account is reportable for FBAR purposes can sometimes be a relatively complicated question. It is true that it is easy to see that a foreign bank and investment accounts should be reported on the FBAR as long as all other requirements are met. It is also well-established that a gold bullion account is reportable for FBAR purposes.

What about foreign PayPal accounts? This question has arisen in the past with some of my clients. On the other one hand, PayPal describes itself as a payment system; on the other hand, the account holder does own the funds within the account – i.e. the account holder has a present-interest value on the account that can be easily withdrawn from the account.

This is why the IRS considers a foreign PayPal account as a reportable account for the FBAR purposes. In fact, whenever I asked the IRS this question with respect to my clients, this determination has been confirmed by the IRS.

Contact Sherayzen Law Office For Help With FBAR Issues

If you have any questions with respect to the FBAR, you want to find out whether you have reportable accounts, or you wish to file your delinquent FBARs and you do not know how to approach it correctly, contact Sherayzen Law Office for legal assistance. Our experienced FBAR tax firm will help you deal with all of your FBAR issues in a professional, efficient, and effective manner.