Iowan gets 7 years on Ponzi scheme, tax charges. An Ottumwa man who used funds he was supposed to invest to finance his online dating life was sentenced yesterday to 87 months in federal prison on federal fraud and tax charges. John Holtsinger, 52, will serve the federal sentence after he completes a state OWI sentence.
Mr. Holtsinger entered a guilty plea last year. The indictment said he sold this improbable investment opportunity:
After conducting trades on behalf of investors for a short period of time, Holtsinger offered and sold investments to the investors in the form of promissory notes. He represented that the notes would yield high returns with no risk including, but not limited to, what he called an “inheritance investment” that would be invested through his mother and pay out upon her death. The “inheritance investment” required a $20,000 deposit and was to pay annual returns of 9% with automatic liquidation and payout if the investment dropped below 3% of its initial value.
“High returns with no risk” is a rare beast indeed, nearly as rare as the Unicorn. I doubt if they show up in Ottumwa very often.
IRS stimulates prison system economy by $35 million in 2010. From a report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration:
Refund fraud committed by prisoners remains a significant problem for tax administration. The number of fraudulent tax returns filed by prisoners and identified by the IRS has increased from more than 18,000 tax returns in Calendar Year 2004 to more than 91,000 tax returns in Calendar Year 2010. The refunds claimed on these tax returns increased from $68 million to $757 million. Although the IRS prevented the issuance of $722 million in fraudulent tax refunds during Calendar Year 2010, it released more than $35 million.
The new IRS regulation of tax preparers isn’t going to do much for this problem. (via the TaxProf)
Related: Doing Your Time (Jack Townsend)
Russ Fox, The Walking Dead Come Back.
Brian Mahany, Taxpayer Advocate Questions OVDI, FBAR Penalties
David Cay Johnston, Foundering Tax Avoidance (Tax.com)
Paul Neiffer, Watch Out For Those Retroactive State Tax Gotchas!
Nanette Byrnes, Facebook’s slump hits California’s budget, and more (Tax Break)
Joseph Henchman and Elizabeth Malm, New Report: Gasoline Taxes and Tolls Pay for Only a Fraction of Road Spending (Tax Policy Blog)
Catch your weekend Buzz early! From Robert D. Flach.
Howard Gleckman, A Tiny Little Blog Post on a Tiny Little Tax Bracket. (TaxVox). Hey, I noticed it first!
News you can use: Retaining CPAs Is As Easy As Letting Them Work in PJs and Attend Boring Meetings, Says Guy (Going Concern)
When outsourcing goes too far. A story of how a model employee outsourced his own job. (Greg Mankiw). Nice work if you can get paid while some guy in China does the dirty work.