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IRS Whistleblower Office Issues Delayed and Disappointing Annual Report on Whistleblower Program in Fiscal Year 2021

Posted  06/13/22
The IRS Whistleblower Office has released its required Annual Report to Congress, covering fiscal year 2021.  Disappointingly, the report shows a continuing decline in proceeds collected as a result of submissions to the IRS Whistleblower Program and a continuing decline in awards paid to whistleblowers who reported tax fraud under the program. The report itself was submitted four months later than in previous years...

How Congress and the IRS Can Fulfill the Promise of the Tax Whistleblower Program

Posted  04/21/22
Constantine Cannon whistleblower partner Michael Ronickher wrote on the Taxpayers Against Fraud blog about three key changes the IRS could make to help its whistleblower program reach its full potential. The program, which provides rewards of 15-30% of the funds collected by the IRS because of a tip, is undeniably important. As Mike wrote, “Since 2007, the IRS has recovered $6.14 billion based on information from...

Top Ten Tax Recoveries for 2021

Posted  01/19/22
Currency Zoomed In
Our top tax recoveries for 2021 total over $7 billion, an impressive number that is due largely to just one of our top ten tax recoveries. Tax evaders were creative last year, utilizing offshore banking, good old tax fraud, and forum shopping for an accounting opinion that fits—all with the intention of cheating the IRS and, in return, the taxpaying public. IRS Criminal Investigation flexed its muscles and went...

The New ENABLERS Act May Be a Backdoor Way to Expand the Anti-Money Laundering Whistleblower Program

Posted  10/14/21
Hundred dollars bills pinned to clothes line
In The Hill this week, I argue that the newly proposed ENABLERS Act is a lot more powerful than even its authors seem to realize.  The proposed law would effectively expand the Bank Secrecy Act to apply the same reporting requirements currently imposed on banks to all sorts of actors who enable (get it?) money laundering: lawyers, investment advisers, accountants, art dealers, public relations firms, and the like. ...

Pandora Papers Show the Value of Financial Transparency, the Critical Role of Whistleblowers – and the Need for Additional Regulation

Posted  10/8/21
This week, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and its partners began publicly reporting on the “Pandora Papers,” a trove of millions of leaked documents from firms around the world that help customers set up “offshore” accounts and shell companies designed to conceal financial truths.  The leaked documents, and the extensive reporting on the documents, sheds light on the murky world of...

What Maryland can Learn from the IRS on the State’s New Tax Program: Ari Yampolsky and Michael Ronickher in the Washington Post

Posted  07/13/21
Headshots of whistleblower attorneys Michael Ronickher and Ari Yampolsky
Opening with the warning “tax cheats beware,” Constantine Cannon whistleblower attorneys Ari Yampolsky and Michael Ronickher published an opinion piece in the Washington Post detailing the provisions of Maryland’s new tax whistleblower reward program, which covers state and county tax fraud and underpayments. While New York has long allowed whistleblowers to use its state False Claims Act to bring tax claims,...

Want to Fix the Trillion Dollar Tax Gap? How Whistleblowers Can Help

Posted  04/23/21
Earlier this month, Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Charles P. Rettig testified before the Senate Finance Committee, addressing the 2021 filing season and the “21st Century IRS.”  At the hearing, Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) raised the topic of the tax gap, referring to the difference between the total taxes that are legally owed, and the total taxes that are paid by individuals and entities. ...

Watch Now: Eric Havian Joins OffshoreAlert Panel with SEC, CFTC, and IRS Whistleblower Officials on Rewards for Domestic and Foreign Whistleblowers

Posted  04/2/21

For the third year in a row, Constantine Cannon partner Eric Havian participated in OffshoreAlert’s annual conference, vGlobal, speaking on a panel with senior leaders of the whistleblower programs at the SEC, CFTC, and IRS.  The panel, which you can watch below, “Rewarding Domestic & Foreign Whistleblowers: The Growth & Spreading Reach of U.S. Programs,” addressed the international reach of the U.S....

Operation Brace Yourself Nets $20M Settlement with DME Fraudster

Posted  02/9/21
stethoscope and blood pressure
This week, the Department of Justice announced it had reached a $20.3 million settlement with a Florida businesswoman who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud and filing a false tax return.  The settlement resolved allegations that the woman, Kelly Wolfe, participated in a scheme to defraud Medicare by filling sham prescriptions for Durable Medical Equipment (DME) like back, ankle, knee, and wrist...

Top Ten Tax Recoveries of 2020

Posted  02/5/21
us cash with "taxes" sign on top
Tax fraud and tax evasion, unfortunately, continued apace last year.  Yet even in the face of waning tax resources, enforcement authorities chalked up some key wins in 2020. Criminal recoveries tend to dominate the headlines because many of the biggest tax recoveries are not public: the IRS scrupulously protects taxpayer privacy, and no announcements are made for civil tax recoveries.  Thus only those that result...
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