WSJ Talks to Scott Michel About Tax Fraud

The Wall Street Journal

Scott D. Michel spoke with The Wall Street Journal concerning the sentencing of e-commerce entrepreneur Gregg Kaminsky, who failed to report a Swiss bank account, and who evaded about $125,000 in taxes due on earnings from a secret Swiss bank account and from Second Life, a virtual world where participants earn virtual income redeemable for real cash.  Earlier this month, Mr. Kaminsky was sentenced to prison.  His case is a cautionary tale for all taxpayers.  For the full story, please visit WSJ's website (subscription required).

Excerpt taken from the article.

"If you make a tax mistake, don't compound the problem by giving the government more evidence to use against you," says Scott Michel, a criminal tax lawyer at Caplin & Drysdale in Washington.

. . .

Omitting the Swiss assets from his financial-aid forms. Mr. Kaminsky didn't include the assets in his Swiss account when he filed federal financial-aid forms in 2007 and 2008. The omission allowed him to qualify for a loan with a below-market interest rate to help pay tuition of $17,000 for an Emory University executive M.B.A. program, which he later paid off.

Although this lapse might seem minor, Caplin's Mr. Michel says it helped establish a pattern of false statements made to the U.S. Mr. Kaminsky says the omission was "one of those mistakes people make when they're not thinking properly."



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