An Overview of Money Laundering

For as long as there has been money, there has been some form of money laundering. Essentially, money laundering is the process whereby “dirty” money (i.e. money that should be going to someone or somewhere else) is actually hidden elsewhere, sometimes in investments or other places so that it cannot be found. Over 4,000 years ago, Chinese merchants would hide their money from their rulers by investing it in Read More

5 Tips and Tricks on How to Keep Your Taxes Organized

You have emerged from the tax fog of April and the mad rush to get everything filed with the IRS by the ominous deadline of April 15 (give or take). In that mad rush, you promised yourself that next year will be different. Next year you will be organized in your tax preparation so that your home will not look like a paper bomb went off and you will not need to beg and plead with the mailman to wait another five Read More

Understanding the Ruckus Behind Racketeering

If you’ve ever found yourself grousing that a fee or a cost is a racket, then congratulations—you have just accused the seller of racketeering. Racketeering is the process of conducting a racket. A racket is a criminal enterprise whereby victims are made to pay for solutions to problems that do not exist or that will not be put into effect. The diversity of rackets is truly a wonder of criminal enterprise. Read More

How to Reduce IRS Penalties

Paying taxes can be hard enough, but what if you’re hit with penalties on top of them? The IRS has over 100 different possible penalties that they can assess. Most of these penalties fit into one of two categories: collections and accuracy. Collections refers to late filing while accuracy refers to people providing incorrect information. While the best course is to avoid paying penalties at all by filing on time Read More

What Exactly Does It Mean to be Charged with Mortgage Fraud?

Mortgage fraud is, according to the definition from the FBI, “any material misstatement, misrepresentation or omission relied upon by an underwriter or lender to fund, purchase or insure a loan.” This type of fraud can be committed either by a borrower, by lending institutions, or even by other parties involved in the mortgage process like title agencies and mortgage brokers. Mortgage fraud can occur at any time, Read More

Understanding Currency Transaction Violations

There are many laws governing how currency can be deposited, withdrawn, and moved around. Most of these laws are put in place to attempt to stop money laundering, drug dealing, organized crime, and terrorism. For example, you are only allowed to make withdrawals or transfers from saving accounts a certain number of times per month. Violations of this regulation typically just require that the savings account be Read More

6 Types of Healthcare Fraud

Healthcare fraud is not new, nor is it going away anytime soon. At the very least, however, it is possible to become educated on what constitutes healthcare fraud so to avoid committing it. Here are six common types of healthcare fraud. 1) Billing for services that were never given. The services that are billed to an insurance company or the government should be reflected in the medical records of the patient. Read More

The IRS Summons: What to Know and How to Respond

An IRS summons can strike fear in the heart of even the most stalwart taxpayer. Being called up to the principal’s office can be daunting and overwhelming. As much as you would like to throw away the offending piece of paper and stick your head in the sand, the best responses to an IRS summons involves the following steps. 1) Open the summons and read it. This may seem obvious, but so often, we assume that we Read More

What You Need to Know About Federal Criminal Forfeiture

Criminal forfeiture is one of the federal government’s more far-reaching punishments for certain crimes because it means that the property that was used in the commission of the crime must be forfeited by the owner to the government. For as devastating as its effects can be, it may be surprising to know that criminal forfeiture is a fairly recent development. This is in part because, until the 1970s, asset forfeiture Read More

Potential Alternatives to the IRS Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program

If you are a U.S. taxpayer and have assets in another country (or countries), are you required to disclose this to the IRS? The answer is a resounding YES. Not only are you required to let the IRS know about it, but with 2010’s and the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), foreign banks and financial institutions are now required to report accounts of U.S. taxpayers at their institutions to the IRS. Financial Read More