A federal grand jury has indicted an Arizona accountant and an attorney for participating in an offshore tax shelter scheme.

Allen P. Goodmansen, a CPA who operated an accounting practice in Mesa, was indicted last Wednesday along with Steven W. Allen, an attorney who practices in Mesa, for conspiracy to defraud the IRS and for aiding in the filing of false tax returns. Goodmansen was also charged with knowingly filing a false personal income tax return for tax year 2002.

According to the indictment, from at least 1997 through 2004, Allen, Goodmansen and others participated in a scheme to help clients unlawfully evade the payment of income taxes. Allen set up a series of three offshore trusts for at least eight clients, including Goodmansen and an IRS undercover agent. He allegedly helped clients hide their ownership of businesses and assets, and income on which they should have paid taxes, by directing the clients to title their businesses or assets in the name of their foreign trust. According to prosecutors, Allen charged clients between $10,000 and $30,000 to set up the trust package.

The indictment further alleges that, at Allen’s direction, Goodmansen and an unindicted co-conspirator prepared false trust tax returns that fraudulently reported the clients’ income as though the income belonged to the trusts. Goodmansen also prepared personal tax returns for some of the individual clients that omitted the income that had been concealed through the foreign trusts. He allegedly mailed the returns to the IRS from an address outside the U.S. to conceal the scheme’s origin in Arizona, and personally used the scheme in 2002 to hide income he earned that should have been reported on his personal income tax return.

If convicted, Allen faces up to 26 years in prison, and Goodmansen faces up to 17 years in prison.

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