Scars of Poverty


The scars of childhood poverty can have a profound impact on a person as they age. Even though financial security may be achieved later in life, the effects of poverty experienced early in life are often long-lasting. This may have been the case for a man in Massachusetts who neglected to pay more than $100,000 in taxes owed and deposited the funds into his personal bank account instead.

The man, who owned and operated an accounting and tax return business, underreported his corporate and personal income on tax returns over three years by not disclosing several checks from his accounting business. The bogus returns resulted in a tax loss of more than $118,000 to the federal government. (He cashed some of the checks and deposited them into his personal account instead of the business bank account.)

The man ‘s lawyer tried to defend his client by painting a picture of someone who had experienced an impoverished childhood, but overcame the circumstances by pulling himself up by the bootstraps and establishing an accounting firm. While the fraudster had no prior criminal history, the judge sentenced the 53-year-old to four months in federal prison to be followed by a year of supervised release including three months of home detention. He also must pay a special assessment of $600. (While the judge may have felt sorry for this man, he still must pay the price for committing tax evasion.)

While this man may have scars of poverty from his childhood, he now has a criminal record, which can also have a profound effect on his future. To his credit, he has paid back all taxes due and interest, plus more than $82,000 in fraud penalties to the U.S. Treasury. (But he can no longer practice accounting because his professional accounting license has been revoked.)

While this man ‘s crime may have been a result of his experiences as an impoverished child, it is never appropriate to lie about your taxes to the government no matter how you look at it. The man ‘s fear and insecurity may have driven him to hoard funds that were owed to the government, but he must now face the future with a criminal record and the inability to return to his job.

Source: Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, “Granby accountant sentenced to federal prison for tax fraud,” published by Daily Hampshire Gazette on October 17, 2016.

A Granby accountant has been sentenced to four months in federal prison for filing false corporate and personal income tax returns over three years.

James Lowe, 53, was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court in Worcester by Judge Timothy S. Hillman.

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Larry Benson
Larry Benson is currently the Director of Strategic Alliances for Revenue Discovery and Recovery at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. In this role, Benson is responsible for developing partnerships for the tax and revenue and child support enforcement verticals. He focuses on embedded companies that have a need for third-party analytics to enhance their current offerings.