Scheme Used Offshore Bank Accounts, Phony Loans and Debit Cards
to Hide Income and Assets from IRS
DENVER – LAWFUEL – Tax Law, Law Jobs – The United States Department of Justice, The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado, and The IRS Criminal Investigation Division, today announced that following a three-week trial, a federal jury in Denver, Colorado convicted ROBERT N. BEDFORD on the charge of Conspiracy to Defraud the United States and to Cause the Filing of False Tax Returns (18 U.S.C. §371). The evidence established that BEDFORD provided legal and tax advice to his co-conspirators on how to circumvent IRS regulations and create false documents designed to disguise the movement of approximately $8 million dollars of unreported income to secret offshore accounts. BEDFORD also lied to IRS Revenue Agents on behalf of co-conspirators during their audits in an attempt to further impede the agents in their official duties.
In November, 2002, BEDFORD, a resident of Florida, together with PAUL D. HARRIS and LESTER R. RETHERFORD, residents of Colorado, were charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States. According to the evidence presented at trial, the scheme involved setting up shell corporations for businessmen that were used to conceal approximately $8 million in taxable income in secret accounts in the Turks and Caicos Islands and other foreign countries from 1992 through 2001. The evidence also showed that the defendants made it appear as though the offshore transfers were payments for consulting services. To participate in this scheme, businessmen paid initiation fees of up to $50,000. On April 28, 2005, after a nine-week trial, PAUL D. HARRIS and LESTER R. RETHERFORD were convicted of conspiracy and other charges, however, the jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict as to BEDFORD.
Assistant Attorney General O’Connor and United States Attorney Eid thanked Assistant United States Attorney Thomas O’Rourke and Tax Division Trial Attorney Edward E. Russo, who prosecuted the case. They also thanked the agents of the Internal Revenue Service whose assistance was essential to the successful investigation and prosecution of the case.http://www.usdoj.gov/tax.