by Brian Mahany
William Reed is a former lawyer and the author of the book titled “Bulletproof Asset Protection.” As of July 2011 he can add an indictment to his resume. The feds have charged Reed with Conspiracy to Defraud the United States, Money Laundering Conspiracy and multiple counts of Aggravated Identity Theft, Mail Fraud, Wire Fraud and Tax Evasion. If convicted, he could spend the rest of his life behind bars.
Prosecutors say Reed teamed up with a CPA named Wendell Waite and another individual, Richard Neiswonger. Both men were named in the indictment along with Reed.
Neiswonger and Reed have the dubious distinction of being in hot water before. Court records show that Reed was previously enjoined by a federal court for selling phony tax schemes. They say Neiswonger was enjoined previously for selling phony business schemes. The U.S. Tax Court also said in 2010 that Reed owes $10 million in income taxes. Apparently their earlier brushes with the law did not have much effect on either of the men.
In the current indictment prosecutors say that the trio formed an asset protection business called Asset Protection Group. Reed then used the company to sell “fraudulent products to defraud the government and other bona fide creditors.”
One of the tactics used by Reed was creating fraudulent liens. These “friendly liens” created the appearance of an encumbrance on the property. The idea was to convince the IRS or a private creditor that there was little or no equity in the property.
While one might think that few people would buy into such a scheme, the trio were apparently good marketers. The Federal Trade Commission believes they recruited 1000 sales “consultants” and raked in $19,800,000.00 not including any sales revenues from the consultants.
That means there probably are 1000’s of unwary customers who have purchased these asset protection packages – products that probably will not protect them in the event of a lawsuit and will only get them into more trouble with the IRS.
The lesson here is that there is no such thing as “bulletproof asset protection.” Just because a promoter writes a book or has a slick website doesn’t mean what you read is true. In Reed’s case he probably will many years of free time in the coming years to write the sequel to his book. Let’s hope the next book isn’t science fiction.
Asset protection is a legitimate business concept. It can protect your hard earned money from a variety of threats including frivolous lawsuits. It can also slow down aggressive creditors. Don’t believe, however, that you can purchase a $10,000 kit from an Internet promoter that will prevent you from having to pay taxes or make you “bulletproof”.
If you wish more information on asset protection or recovering money “protected” by a phony asset protection scheme, give us a call. Our asset protection and fraud recovery lawyers have helped many people. For more information, contact attorney Brian Mahany at (414) 704-6731 or . All calls are confidential.
Mahany & Ertl – America’s Fraud Lawyers. Offices in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Detroit, Michigan; Portland, Maine & Minneapolis, Minnesota. Services available in many jurisdictions.