United States v. Poltonowicz, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 26257 (3th Cir. Dec. 2, 2009)
Taxpayer appealed his conviction for conspiracy to defraud the United States by counseling the filing of false tax returns. Defendant was on audiotape informing a potential client that he knew exactly how to claim fictitious deductions without getting caught. The tax loss was $400,000 based upon the returns that had been audited and the trial court noted statistical evidence involving approximately 20,000 returns prepared by the defendant.
The 3rd Circuit upheld the convictions under 18 USC section 371 as well as 26 USC section 7206 and found that the sentence based upon all criminal activity whether or not contained in the indictment was appropriate.
It should be noted that the Federal Sentencing Guidelines in
all tax cases are controlled by tax loss. See section 2B4.1. As a result, felony convictions often result in the same sentence as misdemeanor convictions. For example, see United States v. Wesley Snipes.
This is the result of the IRS policy to indict at least three taxable years when possible and
the court's ability to order consecutive sentences in misdemeanor cases and concurrent sentences in felony tax cases.
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