Carson man indicted by feds
April 26, 2003
A federal grand jury has indicted a Carson City man and three others for allegedly selling tax evasion schemes to clients and partners.
James Fontano, co-owner of Carson City’s Privatech Group LLC, and three Portland, Ore., men are suspected of using offshore companies to hide $27 million in assets and conceal income and expenditures from the Internal Revenue Service.
Fontano and co-defendants Terry L. Neal, Aaron Young and Lee E. Morgan, all of Portland, established foreign and domestic corporations and bank accounts for themselves and their clients, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
They would then allegedly devise ways for the funds to be used in the United States without being easily traceable or taxes being paid on them.
According to the 13 count indictment returned Thursday, the defendants charged fees for their services.
“Identifying and prosecuting promoters of tax evasion if one of our highest priorities,” said Assistant Attorney General Eileen J. O’Connor, head of the Justice Department’s Tax Division. “People who transfer assets offshort to conceal them from the IRS will be held accountable.”
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Fontano faces one charge of conspiracy to defraud the United States. If convicted he could receive five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.
“The average person doesn’t need an offshore credit card, but promoters are encouraging many people to get them to help evade taxes,” said David B. Palmer, Chief, IRS Criminal Investigation. “Because debit and credit cards provide easy access to offshore accounts in tax haven countries, this type of scheme is particularly egregious and a high priority for IRS Criminal Investigation.