Facing dozens of criminal charges for alleged fraudulent activity, a former accountant was recently released from custody. Federal authorities in Colorado claim that he misused clients’ money by using funds earmarked for certain taxes for his own personal use. His criminal law charges include various counts of wire and mail fraud as well as 18 counts for filing false tax returns.

According to a federal indictment that was unsealed in early Sept. 2016, authorities claim that the owner of an accounting firm began to withdraw money from the firm in Jan. 2011. This continued until 2015, and at that point it is believed that he used $3.5 million of his clients’ money. His clients were apparently under the impression that their money was being used to pay withholding taxes. Instead, the indictment alleges that he used it to pay his credit card bills and mortgage.

Clients who were allegedly affected by the mishandling of funds somehow managed to force the accountant and his business into filing for bankruptcy. He was also directly sued by some of his former clients, while others complained to Colorado’s accounting board. His CPA — or Certified Public Accountant — license was subsequently revoked in Feb. 2016.

In total, he is accused of two counts for mail fraud, 12 counts for wire fraud and another 18 counts for allegedly filing false tax returns, all of which could impose a $250,000 fine if convicted. These types of criminal law matters are not to be handled lightly, as possible prison sentences associated with these charges are especially lengthy. Minimizing the impact of criminal charges is usually the goal of most defendants, which can typically be accomplished through careful and timely planning alongside respective counsels.

Source: businessden.com, “Bankrupt accountant faces criminal charges for fraud“, Amy Dipierro, Sept. 9, 2016

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