28 Million Reasons Why

Tax return forms and wage statements with a note saying Taxes Due. An IRS tax return form 1040 and two W-2 Wage and Tax Statement forms indicating wages were earned from two employers.

I don’t know about you, but I think $1 million is a lot of money. Multiply that by 28 and that’s the tax bill for a Las Vegas, Nevada businessman who neglected to pay the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). (And that’s not all he owes.) He conspired with his bookkeeper and tax preparer to commit tax fraud by submitting fraudulent federal income tax returns for himself and his entities over four years.

Court documents show that the businessman left off tens of millions of dollars he earned from his returns. (What’s a few zeroes anyway?) He also created false business deductions which put more money back into his pocket.

Those fake business deductions were actually personal expenses reclassified as business expenses. That includes multiple luxury cars and houses, jewelry, gambling debt payoffs, private plane travel, home improvements and generous gifts for his girlfriends and acquaintances. (Well, that explains where the $28 million went.)

 The 69-year-old Las Vegas businessman pleaded guilty to committing $28 million in tax fraud. He was sentenced to three years in federal prison to be followed by three years of supervised release. He must also pay $28,221,767 in restitution to the IRS. (Looks like he’ll have to sell a few things to pay off that debt.) His tax preparer pleaded guilty to his part in the tax fraud scheme and was sentenced to five years of probation. His bookkeeper’s trial is scheduled.

Today’s fraud article is a good example of why someone should not commit tax fraud. (Actually, it provides 28 million reasons why.) It might be nice to have some extra cash in your pocket, but is the price you have to pay worth it?

 Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article, Las Vegas man sentenced for $28M tax fraud scheme,” posted on KTNV.com on September 24, 2019.

A Las Vegas businessman who pleaded guilty to committing a $28 million tax fraud conspiracy was sentenced today to three years in federal prison, announced United States Attorney Nicholas A. Trutanich of the District of Nevada and Special Agent in Charge Tara Sullivan for the IRS-Criminal Investigation.

Ramon Desage, 69, was charged by a second superseding indictment on Feb. 11, 2014. On Aug. 31, 2018, Desage pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States as charged in the second superseding indictment.

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Larry Benson, Senior Director of Strategic Alliances, LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Larry Benson is responsible for developing strategic partnerships and solutions for the government vertical. His expertise focuses on how government programs are defrauded by criminal groups, and the approaches necessary to prevent them from succeeding.

Mr. Benson has 30 years of experience in sales and business development. Before joining LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, he spent 12 years founding and managing two software technology startups. During the 1990s he spent 10 years as a Regional Director helping to grow a New England-based technology company from 300 employees to 7,000. He started his career with Martin Marietta Aerospace working on laser guided weapons and day/night vision systems.

A sought-after speaker and accomplished writer, Mr. Benson is the principal author of “Fraud of the Day,” a website dedicated to educating government officials about how criminals are defrauding government programs. He has co-authored WTF? Where’s the Fraud? How to Unmask and Stop Identity Fraud’s Drain on Our Government, and Data Personified, How Fraud is Changing the Meaning of Identity.

Benson holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Albright College, and earned two graduate degrees – a Master of Business Administration from Florida Institute of Technology, and a Master of Science in Engineering from Lehigh University.