30 December 2004 – LAWFUEL – Best for law news – A Newport Coast man who pleaded guilty to tax evasion for underreporting his 1999
income on his federal tax return has been sentenced to 15 months in federal prison
and ordered to pay nearly a half-million dollars in back income taxes.
Michael Sanford Avnaim, 57, the president and sole shareholder of South Coast
Container, Inc. (SCC), a closely held corporation located in Fullerton, was
sentenced in Los Angeles Monday afternoon by United States District Judg Dickran
Tevrizian. In addition to the prison term, which Avnaim will begin serving on
January 27, Judge Tevrizian ordered the defendant to pay a $10,000 fine. Judge
Tevrizian also ordered Avnaim to pay the Internal Revenue Service $474,636 in back taxes, plus penalties.
When Avnaim pleaded guilty on October 18, he admitted that he underreported his taxable income for two years. Specifically, during the years 1998 and 1999 Avnaim
received income of $345,271 and $1,179,291, from his operation of SCC. But, at
Avnaim’s direction, SCC issued bogus tax forms that showed he earned income of only
$103,288 and $129,474. Avnaim knowingly and willfully evaded his tax liabilities
for the calendar years 1998 and 1999 at least in the amounts of $81,450 and $393,186.
his case is the result of an investigation by IRS-Criminal Investigation Division.