Here are some tax crime stories on my radar today.
In Dallas: Tax issues are central to a major political corruption trial going on here in Dallas.
Powerful Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price faces federal charges for allegedly accepting about $1 million in bribes from a political consultant. In addition to the mail fraud and bribery charges, there are several counts related to his failure to include the alleged bribes on his federal tax returns (more here.)
The defense alleges that the purported bribes were actually legal loan repayments, and therefore did not need to be disclosed on Price’s taxes as income.
Whether this case gets resolved anytime soon is yet to be seen — A mistrial appears increasingly likely because the judge keeps ruling that the prosecution is wrongfully withholding evidence from the defense.
More: “Defense CPA says John Wiley Price did not owe taxes he’s accused of evading,” Kevin Krause, The Dallas Morning News.
India arrests: An Indian man accused of being involved in a massive call center tax scam reportedly gifted luxury cars to his friends shortly after police raids on his offices last year.
Sagar Thakkar, also known as “Shaggy,” was arrested last weekend for allegedly running a Mumbai-based call center that scammed $300 million from American taxpayers. The call center’s agents allegedly impersonated IRS officers and demanded payments for non-existent debts. The scam ran for more than a year.
Thakkar, 24, was arrested at Mumbai’s airport after flying in from Dubai. Indian authorities claim to have arrested more than 400 people in connection with the case. (Reuters)
Meanwhile in New York: A former Upper East Side restaurant owner was been charged with second-degree grand larceny for allegedly pocketing more than $300,000 in sales tax related to his restaurant. (New York Post)
Back in D-FW: “Texas AG Ken Paxton asking judge to boot himself from case may be unprecedented,” Lauren McGaughy, The Dallas Morning News.
Photo: Jimi Filipovski