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Sunshine State Local Elections Shine Light on How Dark Shell Company Data Can Be

Posted  11/18/20
top-secret-seal
Amidst the ongoing saga of the US national elections, Florida local elections may not have made much of a ripple.  But one small scandal in the Sunshine State reveals a lot about the ongoing problem the US has with shell corporations and their hidden ownership structures. The story is convoluted, as most shell company stories are.  A political donor, Proclivity, who had never donated money in Florida before,...

Catch of the Week: New York Sues Sotheby’s for Helping Art Collector Evade Millions in Taxes

Posted  11/13/20
artwork and paintings on a wall
This week’s Catch of the Week spotlights another tax dodge by the rich and powerful, but with a twist, implicating international auction house Sotheby’s, one of the world’s largest brokers of fine arts, jewelry, and collectibles. Sotheby’s stands accused of enabling a wealthy art collector client to fraudulently evade taxes on $27 million worth of art. Under New York tax law, art resellers who meet certain...

Proposed Changes to NY FCA Tax Provisions Rattle Potential Tax Fraudsters

Posted  10/16/20
Albany New York Capitol Complex buildings against blue sky
New York is one of several states that has provisions in its state False Claims Act (“NY FCA”) allowing whistleblower (or qui tam) suits for violations of the state’s tax laws. On August 3, 2020 (Senate) and October 7, 2020 (Assembly), the New York state legislature, introduced bills proposing revisions to the NY FCA’s tax provisions.

The Proposed Legislation

The Senate bill’s accompanying memorandum...

Catch of the Week: Texas-Sized Indictment for $2 Billion Tax Fraud

Posted  10/16/20
texas longhorn bull standing in open grass field
Everything sure is bigger in Texas.  Bigger hair, bigger churches, bigger stadiums, bigger ranches, and bigger sky.  Oh, and as of this week, bigger billionaires committing bigger frauds! On Thursday, federal prosecutors in California charged Robert T. Brockman, a Houston tech executive, with hiding $2 billion in income from the Internal Revenue Service.  True to Texas form, David L. Anderson, the U.S. attorney...

Constantine Cannon Attorneys Ari Yampolsky and Chris McLamb Published in the Daily Journal on the California FCA

Posted  09/17/20
On September 8, 2020, Constantine Cannon attorneys Ari Yampolsky and Chris McLamb published an article in the Daily Journal discussing the California State Senate’s failure to pass critical amendments to the California False Claims Act.  Among other things, the amendments would have closed a loophole that lets tax cheats off the hook and rebuffed defendants’ attacks on the CFCA’s longstanding materiality...

Constantine Cannon Whistleblower Team’s Top-Ten “Staff Picks” of 2019

Posted  01/27/20
best of the year letters on a stamp
From cybersecurity, cryptocurrency, and “big data” to private-equity backed healthcare, private detention facilities, and the essential whistleblower experience – your prolific and relentless CC WB bloggers have chosen some of their favorite 2019 posts (and one from 2018) – don’t miss these insider-favorite gems!
    1. Your worst nightmare – private data exposed to the unscrupulous – could be curbed...

Top Ten Tax Enforcement Actions of 2019

Posted  01/17/20
Hundred Dollar Bills with American Flag, and 1040 Tax Form
Tax fraud and tax evasion persist each year in various forms and whistleblowers have been at the forefront in combatting entities and individuals cheating the system. Under the IRS Whistleblower Reward Program, whistleblowers who bring information regarding tax fraud to light that results in a recover of over $2 million can be eligible for a reward between 15 to 30% of the government’s recovery. The IRS...

Tax Whistleblowers Gain New Protections and Collect Over $120 Million in Awards in 2019

Posted  01/10/20
Hundred Dollar Bill
The IRS Whistleblower Program released its FY 2019 Annual Report to Congress this week, sharing details on its continued efforts to improve transparency, enforce whistleblower anti-retaliation provisions, and enhance communications. The IRS Whistleblower office also reported that in 2019:
    • The U.S. collected over $616 million in proceeds attributable to whistleblower information; and
    • The IRS paid over...

Malta’s Ongoing Corruption Scandal Renews Focus on Money Laundering

Posted  12/5/19
Money Hanging on a Clothes Line
The tragic murder of investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia in 2017 sparked international outrage—and the fear that nothing would be done to discover who was behind her death.  This turns out not to be the case.  After years of persistence from her family and journalist community, Yorgen Fenech, a gambling, real estate, and energy mogul, was arrested on November 20 for complicity in her murder.  He has...

Catch of the Week: B&H Photo Video Sued by NY State for Tax Fraud

Posted  11/15/19
Modern mobile devices
This week’s Catch of the Week brings us back to the Big Apple, where New York Attorney General Letitia James joined a whistleblower lawsuit yesterday accusing the nation’s largest non-chain photo and video equipment retailer, B&H Photo Video, of tax fraud. The suit claims that long-time camera and electronics retailer B&H, which had more than $3 billion in revenue last year, knowingly failed to pay over $7...
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