Trust Promoters Convicted of Tax Crimes - 2006
According to an indictment and evidence produced from the trial of David Caroll Stephenson, Stephenson and his partner marketed trust packages which falsely advertised to customers that they could avoid paying income tax. The Tacoma based organization was called American Business Estate and Tax Planning (ABETP). The defendants willfully did not file tax returns from 1998 to 2000.
The defendants promised a “pure equity” trust with a website with false advertising and false claims about tax planning and estate planning from 1994 to 2000. The defendants received about $2M in revenue from over 400 trusts, charging $5,000 to $7,500 per trust. Twenty-five witnesses testified against the defendants, including undercover agents from the IRS.
As quoted from the DOJ website,
“Today's jury verdict makes it clear that those who engage in ‘shell-games’ to avoid paying their fair share in taxes will be held accountable,” said John McKay, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington.
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