Skip to Main Content

POLITICO Quotes Scott Michel on Manafort Criminal Tax Charges

August 15, 2018, POLITICO

POLITICO has reviewed the argument that prosecutors in the Office of Special Counsel might use the tax evasion case against Paul Manafort to pressure him into cooperating with their broader investigation. Their reporter spoke to Scott Michel about the degree to which criminal tax charges in any matter may provide a basis for federal prosecutors to leverage tax charges in pursuit of a plea deal in the larger case.

. . .

Federal sentencing guidelines recommend somewhat less severe penalties for tax crimes than for more serious schemes like bank fraud or conspiracy to commit fraud against third parties. That can prompt prosecutors to offer a plea deal on tax offenses, along with cooperation, to lessen a defendant's sentence, said Scott Michel, a member of Caplin & Drysdale, Chartered who counsels companies and individual taxpayers on criminal tax matters.

"You end up getting a relatively lenient deal if you're willing to cooperate and provide information about the activity of other parties," Michel said. "The point is that tax charges are kind of a good vehicle to do that."

. . .

"There are records of everything," he said.

Agents in the IRS Criminal Investigation Division are highly trained in tracing financial transactions and reviewing records to determine tax return accuracy, so prosecutors routinely lean on them early in investigating a complex array of financial issues, Michel said.

For the full article, please visit POLITICO’s website.

Excerpt taken from the article “Tax Charges 'the Ultimate Leverage' in Cases Like Manafort's” by Aaron Lorenzo for POLITICO.


About Caplin & Drysdale
Celebrating our 55th Anniversary in 2019, Caplin & Drysdale continues to be a leading provider of legal services to corporations, individuals, and nonprofits throughout the United States and around the world. We are also privileged to serve as legal advisors to accounting firms, financial institutions, law firms, and other professional services organizations.

The firm's reputation over the years has earned us the trust and respect of clients, industry peers, and government agencies. Moreover, clients rely on our broad knowledge of the law and our keen insights into their business concerns and personal interests. Our lawyers' strong tactical and problem-solving skills -- combined with substantial experience handling a variety of complex, high stakes, matters in a boutique environment -- make us one the nation's most distinctive law firms.

With offices in New York City and Washington, D.C., Caplin & Drysdale's core practice areas include:
For more information, please visit us at
Washington, DC Office:
One Thomas Circle NW
Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20005
New York, NY Office:
600 Lexington Avenue
21st Floor
New York, NY 10022


This communication does not provide legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship with you or any other reader. If you require legal guidance in any specific situation, you should engage a qualified lawyer for that purpose. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Attorney Advertising
It is possible that under the laws, rules, or regulations of certain jurisdictions, this may be construed as an advertisement or solicitation.
©2021 Caplin & Drysdale, Chartered
All Rights Reserved.