Boca Raton CPA John Miller was found not guilty last week on charges of conspiracy, obstruction of justice and filing fraudulent tax returns.
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Miller had been entangled in a $47 million fraud scheme as the convicted heads of boiler room investment firm attempted to blame him for its wrongdoings.
From 1999 through 2007, Frank DeSantis, Jeffrey Jedlicki and Michael Geraud owned and operated numerous boiler rooms throughout South Florida that fraudulently sold commodities and foreign currency options to the public. As a result of their fraudulent acts, approximately 1,000 investors lost over $47 million. As part of a plea agreement to receive a lower sentence, the three pled guilty to conspiracy and testified that Miller assisted the conspiracy by forming more than 20 corporations and preparing bogus accounting records and tax returns to conceal their illegal scheme.
All three men, and their wives, testified at trial against Miller, noted criminal defense attorney and CPA David Garvin, who defended Miller.
“Most disturbing is that the two IRS agents that investigated the case believed the three criminals and their wives and did not believe John Miller’s position that he did not know that the information they were supplying him was false,” said Garvin.
“During the trial we caught the three fraudsters in numerous lies, as well as their wives,” he said. “And we established that the IRS, like the 1,000 investors that lost over $47 million, had been deceived by DeSantis, Jedlicki and Geraud. Mr. Miller testified on his own behalf that he never socialized with the three, and over the six years involved may have visited their offices a total of one or two times, and never received any money to help them avoid prosecution or to cover up their fraud. Following a two-week trial, the jury took a total of two hours to fined Miller not guilty on all counts.”
The result is especially significant since the IRS Criminal Division boasts that approximately 94 percent of all indictments they return result in a conviction, Garvin noted.
“They attribute this to the fact that they get to elect what cases to bring, and they have a substantial amount of resources they are willing to apply to the cases that they choose to bring,” he observed. “The position of the government is that they enhance voluntary compliance by winning the overwhelming majority of criminal cases. The average taxpayer faces a situation in which the cards are stacked against him when defending a case like this, particularly so when the government offers plea agreements and cooperation deals to witnesses that are incarcerated. This is especially hazardous to CPAs and tax attorneys.”