Aggressive IRS Auditor – Raises Concern Over Civil and Criminal Fraud:
NO CRIMINAL CASE
I received a phone call from an excellent CPA who I have worked with in
the past. The discussion centered on the CPA’s new client who was
undergoing an IRS civil audit. This CPA recognized a potential problem
which could be perceived by an aggressive IRS auditor as fraud, or by
a more reasonable auditor as simply an innocent mistake. This type of
audit is often called an eggshell audit because it may result in a referral
to the IRS Criminal Investigation Division. At the CPA’s recommendation,
the client retained me to work on the matter with the CPA.
As it turned out, the revenue agent was very aggressive and prepared a
report imposing the civil fraud penalty (75% of unpaid tax). During the
course of the multi-year audit, there was an extensive hiatus during which,
although never disclosed by the IRS, I believe was due to efforts of the
revenue agent to refer the case to the Criminal Investigation Division.
I worked closely with the CPA to protect my client's rights. The end
result of the audit was that no criminal case was opened, and the civil
fraud penalty was contested through the IRS Appeals Division which resulted
in the removal of the civil fraud penalty. (case no. 0511)
Mortgage Fraud – Supervised Release
The Law Offices of Horwitz & Citro, P.A, recently represented a client
who federal authorities charged, along with several others, in U.S. District
Court, Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division, with conspiracy to
commit wire fraud affecting a financial institution. Our client faced
a maximum of 30 years in prison. After a thorough investigation, we were
able to convince the government to offer a very favorable plea agreement.
Through skilled advocacy we were able to convince the judge to impose
a sentence of time served, for the day of his arrest, followed by supervised
release. Supervised release is like being on probation. Importantly, the
client was not required to serve any time in jail. When a client is facing
significant penalties at a sentencing, experienced and skilled defense
attorneys can make a difference. (case no. 0510)
Healthcare Fraud - Probation
The Law Offices of Horwitz & Citro, P.A, recently represented a licensed
medical professional who federal authorities charged, along with several
others, in U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division,
with conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud and wire fraud. Our client
faced a maximum of 10 years in prison. After entering a guilty plea to
receiving kickbacks, through skilled advocacy we were able to convince
the judge to impose a sentence of probation, not jail. Each of the five
other defendants in the case, including another licensed healthcare professional,
plead guilty and received prison sentences. When a client is facing significant
penalties at a sentencing, experienced and skilled defense attorneys can
make a difference. (case no. 0509)
Securities Fraud Prosecution Ends with No Jail Time
My client was charged in federal court with securities fraud and conspiracy
to commit securities fraud. Prior to trial the government offered a plea
agreement whereby my client would have been sentenced to seven years in
federal prison. This was rejected and we went to trial. The trial lasted
14 days and resulted in a hung jury. Following the government’s
unsuccessful attempt to convict my client before a jury a second offer
from the government was made to resolve the case. The new plea offer from
the government was that my client would plead no contest to a petty offense
for which there was no term of imprisonment authorized under the law.
The only potential penalty was a $25,000 monetary fine. (case no. 0503)
Federal Charges - Not Guilty
My client was arrested by federal authorities and charged with conspiracy
to import heroin and conspiracy to possess heroin with intent to distribute.
The client was one of many defendants named in the indictment. During
the course of the case, all defendants except my client pled guilty. The
only person to go to trial was my client. Due to diligent pretrial investigation
and vigorous defense at trial, we were able to obtain not guilty verdicts
on all charges. (case no. 0502)
Motion to Dismiss - Granted
My client was a businessman who was a consultant to a beauty supply company.
Both federal and state law enforcement utilized an informant to obtain
the product sold by the beauty supply company which the police contended
violated laws prohibiting sale of a mixture containing a chemical listed
as a Schedule 1 drug. Through an intensive defense investigation and depositions,
we were able to establish that our client did not conspire with anyone
to distribute a controlled substance and furthermore, the product sold
did not fall within the criminal prohibitions of the statute. The case
ended when the court granted our motion to dismiss. (case no. 0501)
DUI: Case Dismissed
This client was arrested in January 2015 for DUI. No citation or formal
information charging the client with DUI was filed until October 2016.
The State is required by law to file formal charges within the 90-day
speedy trial period and at the time of filing of formal charges, the 90-day
period had expired. A Motion to Discharge the case was filed on behalf
of the Client in January 2017 and a hearing on the motion was held 5 days
later. The State announced a Nolle Prosequi in court, dismissing the case.
(case no. 0504)
Case No. 500, Domestic Violence DROPPED
We were recently able to assist a client arrested on two separate cases
for Domestic Violence. After his arrest, the Judge ordered him to not
have any contact with his girlfriend and he was not permitted to return
to his own home. As soon as this firm was retained, we filed a motion
with the court to lift those orders. At the hearing, the Judge granted
our motion and our client was able to move back home with his girlfriend.
The State Attorney's Office decided to not go forward on one of the
cases but charged him in the other case. After negotiations with the Prosecutor
and vigorously preparing the case for trial, the State finally agreed
to drop the charges just days before jury selection was to begin.
NO CHARGES FILED
Earlier this year, we were retained after our client learned federal and
state law enforcement authorities, specializing in cybercrime, were investigating
the client for illegally accessing a protected network. While no formal
charges had been filed yet, authorities were interviewing network administrators,
reviewing the client’s stored communications, and examining the
client’s digital footprints to determine what federal and state
cybercrime laws could be charged.
Retaining us before charges were brought allowed us to investigate the
client’s actual role, and develop a comprehensive strategy to deal
with federal and state law enforcement authorities. Our experience with
technology together with a full understanding of the facts allowed us
to effectively deal with law enforcement. Our client received immunity
and helped network administrators improve security. The criminal investigations
concluded without charges being filed.
To best safeguard your liberty, it is imperative to hire a lawyer if you
believe you might be under criminal investigation.
Past results do not constitute a guarantee or prediction regarding the
outcome of future legal matters.
ALL CHARGES DROPPED
The Law Offices of Mark L. Horwitz recently had the honor of representing
a client who was charged with a number of very serious charges. Fortunately,
the ordeal ended with great results. Our client was charged with two counts
of Aggravated Battery with a Firearm. Each charge carried a 25-year minimum-mandatory
sentence and a maximum sentence of life in prison. The client was also
charged with one count of Shooting into a Building and one count of Shooting
from a Vehicle.
After many months of thorough investigation, preparation, and analysis
of the case we were ultimately successful. The Office of the State Attorney
dropped all charges against our client. We welcomed the opportunity to
assist the client through this difficult and stressful ordeal. The vigorous
defense of liberty motivates us in our representation of every client.