by Brian Mahany
Most of the articles we post are designed to help people who themselves the victim of fraud or have difficult tax problems. Sometimes, however, we have to remind ourselves that we can’t save people from themselves. Take the example of Kemp Shiffer, an IRS Special Agent.
Several years ago Shiffer was the lead investigator in the successful prosecution of Joseph Conforte, owner of the infamous Mustang Ranch brothel in Reno, Nevada. Apparently not satisfied with his government salary, however, Shiffer designed to go into the prostitution business himself.
Kemp Shiffer now joins the ranks of former cops who are now convicted felons. He was convicted last month of transporting a woman across state lines to engage in prostitution. As a result of his jaunt across state lines he must also forfeit his Mercedes Benz.
IRS Special Agents are law enforcement officers. Like all IRS employees, they take an oath to uphold and enforce the laws. Special Agents assigned to the IRS Criminal Investigation Division, like Shiffer once was, carry weapons and have the authority to make arrests. It is sad to see any government employee cross the line into criminal behavior but cops who cross the line can expect a rough time in prison and from judges.
According to published reports, Shiffer headed up the investigation that brought down Conforte and the closure of one of Nevada’s less than reputable brothels. Apparently Conforte liked the lifestyle or the glamour (or the women) because shortly thereafter he and his lawyer allegedly invested in a different brothel, Petticoat Junction.
County officials in Nevada would not give him a permit for the prostitution business. Undeterred, Shiffer then went to California and recruited a prostitute to come work for him in Nevada. That’s when he was caught.
Shiffer faces 10 years when sentenced early next year.
Unlike the laws on prostitution, our tax laws, offshore reporting rules and regulations regarding money laundering and currency transactions are quite complex. There is much gray area and even prosecutors can’t always agree what is legal and what isn’t. If you find yourself caught in a jam, give us a call. Criminal or civil tax problems, we can help.
Mahany & Ertl – America’s Tax Lawyers. Tax offices located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Detroit, Michigan; Portland, Maine and San Francisco, California. Services nationwide.