by Brian Mahany
An Oregon CPA pleaded guilty to charges that he conspired to commit wire fraud and money laundering. Brian Stevens of Bend, Oregon entered the guilty at his arraignment. According to the government’s complaint, Stevens misused $44 million of his client’s money. When his business collapsed, 91 customers lost $13.7 million. A second CPA, Nark Neuman, has also been charged.
Stevens created a company called Summit Accommodators (also known as Summit 1031). Summit acted as a qualified intermediary meaning it assisted customers in tax deferral transactions commonly called “like-kind exchanges” or “1031 exchanges.” The term 1031 refers to a section of the Internal Revenue Code that permits owners of income producing property to defer tax otherwise due on the sale of the property by using the proceeds to purchase a replacement investment property.
Instead of holding the customers money in a bank like advertised to clients, Stevens used the money to fund personal real estate investments. When the real estate market began to collapse, so did Steven’s scheme.
According to the U.S. Attorney, Stevens was so skilled at hiding the paper trail that many employees of his company did not even know the monies were not properly deposited.
During its prime, Summit had branch offices in Texas, Washington, Oregon, Utah, Montana, Wyoming and Nevada. The scheme ultimately collapsed on December 19th, 2008 when Summit was forced into bankruptcy.
Licensed financial professionals such as accountants rarely commit such blatant fraud. Lawyers, CPA’s, insurance agents, financial planners and stockbrokers do make mistakes however. Sometimes intentional ones. Whereas pure theft is rare, instances of negligence and sloppy work are unfortunately common however.
If a professional has victimized you, consult with a lawyer familiar with legal malpractice and fiduciary malpractice. Many of these professionals have insurance that may cover your loss.
Mahany & Ertl is a boutique law firm concentrating in asset recovery and fraud cases. We have helped people across the United States recover their hard earned money. For a no obligation, no nonsense consultation, call attorney Brian Mahany at (414) 704-6731 or at .
Mahany & Ertl, LLC – Asset Recovery, Tax, Fraud & White Collar Criminal Lawyers. Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Detroit, Michigan & Portland, Maine. Services nationwide.