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Why Whistleblowers Make Banks Nervous

“The SEC’s mammoth whistleblower bounty offers a reminder that financial institutions should emphasize a culture of compliance and transparency, lest frustrated employees head to the government to find an audience that will listen.” That’s the opening line in an article published today by American Banker, the leading financial services trade publication. There is a touch [...]

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Updates in the Weil FBAR Tax Fraud Trial

Living in Florida has certain advantages. One of those is having a front row seat on almost daily fraud and tax evasion trials. There is no shortage of criminal defendants down here and then means plenty of opportunities to observe what makes these folks tick. For the last week we have been following the trial [...]

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Structured Notes – A Bad Idea Resurfaces

“Principal protection,” “capital guarantee,” “absolute return,” and “minimum return” are all terms used to describe structured notes. Unfortunately, many structured note products are anything but safe. To better understand this post, let’s try and first define a structured note. Perhaps the simplest definition is:  ”A structured note is a hybrid security that includes several financial products, typically [...]

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FINRA: Stockbroker Improperly Marketed Private Placement

The first line of defense for victims of stockbroker fraud is FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Although many people think that FINRA is a governmental agency, it is actually a private, self regulatory organization that operates under the auspices of the SEC. One of FINRA’s primary duties is to police the securities industry and [...]

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“Never Pay Tax!” – PPLI Post

“The World’s ‘Wealthy’ have a tax plan.  ’Never Pay Tax’! And South Dakota is teaching them how with virtual life insurance companies.   These companies (which are licensed and properly funded) provide a Private Life Insurance policy…” These were the opening words on an email I just received. The email is describing a private placed life insurance product or [...]

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New Details Emerge in Weil’s FBAR – Tax Fraud Trial

Raoul Weil is on trial for helping American customers of UBS evade U.S. income taxes. Unlike so many Swiss bankers before him, Weil didn’t take a plea deal. He says that although once the head of UBS’ private wealth division and a a member of the bank’s executive committee, he didn’t assist customers evade taxes [...]

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IRS Requires Filing of All Missing Returns As CDP Condition?

Clients often come to us after an IRS revenue officer is breathing down their necks. Even after liens are filed, taxpayers can seek a collection alternative through a Collection Due Process (CDP) request. In fact, that is when most new clients call an attorney or CPA. The accepted practice is that the IRS will entertain [...]

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Abusive Tax Shelters: Lawyers Have Higher Duty Than CPAs

This is a headline that will probably get me in trouble with my CPA friends. But according to a federal judge, it’s true.  To understand the ruling, some facts are needed. (Don’t worry, this isn’t a dry, boring post at all.) The Justice Department sought injunctive relief against two preparers in Texas. They wanted the [...]

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Doc Faces 175 Years in Tax, Medicare Fraud

This story made me sick to my stomach when I posted it. That takes a lot considering my earlier career as a cop in New Orleans. A Detroit hematologist-oncologist was convicted for a Medicare fraud scam involving giving patients dangerous and medically unnecessary chemotherapy.  Prosecutors say the man, Dr. Faid Fata of Oakland, Michigan,  performed the [...]

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Trio Convicted of Medicare Fraud in Detroit

Medicare fraud is rampant. Tens of billions are lost each year in scams around the country. The victims of these scams are ultimately taxpayers and those truly needy people who are denied essential medical care. Because Medicare is a federally funded program, whistleblowers who report fraud can earn large cash awards from the government. The [...]

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