A Utah attorney was sentenced to 120 months in prison and 36 months of supervised release after he was convicted of participating in a $20 million offshore tax fraud conspiracy.
In addition to jail time, Dennis B. Evanson of Sandy, Utah, was ordered by U.S. District Judge Tena Campbell of Salt Lake City to forfeit four pieces of real property, a Hummer and a Toyota Tundra, and to pay a money judgment of $2.77 million.
A federal jury convicted Evanson in February of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, tax evasion, and assisting in the filing of false tax returns. According to prosecutors, Evanson and his co-defendants conspired between 1996 and April 2005 to conceal portions of his clients' income from the IRS and to create false tax deductions for them. Evanson and another defendant received a fee for their services typically equal to 30 percent of the tax evaded by clients.
The scheme included offshore companies and bank accounts in the Cayman Islands and Nevis, offshore nominees and opinion letters that purported to give legal authority to the fraudulent transactions.
Four co-defendants have also pleaded guilty. Accountant Brent Metcalf of Cottonwood, Utah, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and aiding in the filing of a false tax return on Jan. 25, 2008. Attorney Graham R. Taylor of Tiburon, Calif., pleaded guilty on Jan. 24, 2008. CPAs Stephen F. Petersen of Coalville, Utah, and Reed H. Barker of Littleton, Colo., pleaded guilty to tax fraud on Jan. 18, 2008. Petersen also pled guilty to aiding in the preparation of a false tax return on behalf of a client. All four co-defendants are awaiting sentencing.
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