The Justice Department sued the founder of an “asset protection” business that allegedly helped clients evade income taxes and hired actor Robert Wagner to plug its services.

The government’s complaint alleges that William S. Reed of Las Vegas operated a business called Asset Protection Group Inc., which helped customers place sham liens on their property to deceive creditors. Those creditors included the Internal Revenue Service.

Reed and his company allegedly helped customers hide their income and other assets by holding their money in bank accounts under other names.

The government alleges that Reed and his company sold the asset protection service to nearly 2,000 customers. To promote the scheme, they distributed a promotional video called “The Litigation Explosion” hosted by Wagner and featuring comments by Reed.

The suit was filed in St. Louis with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. The same court is handling a Federal Trade Commission proceeding involving Reed’s company.

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