Accountants plead guilty to $1.2bn tax fraud

The scheme involved false charitable investments designed for tax deductions

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.

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