It's tax season, and the Internal Revenue Service is, as always, on the lookout for tax fraud. The tax code is extremely complex, however, and these cases often involve massive amounts of evidence that can be interpreted in at least two ways. Successfully defending against a tax fraud charge can depend on which side -- the defense or the prosecution -- can parse out the most compelling narrative, given the available evidence.
Now that so much personal, identifying information is stored online, prosecutors and the courts are under significant pressure to take a tough stance against identity theft. Depending on the circumstances, an identity theft charge may be prosecuted in state court or federal court.
The federal tax code is packed with provisions offering various tax credits and deductions. Both individuals and businesses naturally want to make use of these as much as possible in order to minimize taxes.
There is a common pattern in many embezzlement cases. Often they involve the treasurer of an organization who runs into money problems and diverts money from the organization to cover the personal shortfall.
During the housing boom a few years ago, it was common practice for big banks in the real estate industry to take a deliberately rosy view of borrowers' ability to repay loans. Countrywide Financial, at one time the nation's leading mortgage lender, essentially made it a business strategy to find ways around traditional underwriting requirements.
Smoking has declined markedly in American life. But it is still big business - and the taxes on legal sales of cigarettes and other tobacco products involve a lot of money.