Stein and Corey Agee, accountants at the Georgia-based CPA firm AgeeFisherBarrett LLC, have pleaded guilty to one count each of conspiracy to defraud the IRS for $1.2bn.
Between 2013 and 2019 the Agees “knowingly participated in a scheme to defraud the IRS by organizing, marketing, implementing, and defending” fraudulent tax shelters, according to the bill of information.
The time period reportedly saw “$1.2bn in false and fraudulent tax deductions” allocated to 1,500 individuals.
While the tax shelters seemed as though they were deducing tax for high-income earners through real estate investment partnerships, they were in fact serving no legitimate purpose.
The brothers marketed the scheme by falsely claiming that for every $1 invested in the partnership, the investor would receive over $4 in charitable deductions.
The Agees received over $1.7m in commissions throughout the six year period of the conspiracy that “caused more than $250m in tax losses” to the US authorities.
As a result, they have been sentenced to a maximum of five years in prison alongside a period of supervised release, restitution, and monetary penalties.