Every year, numerous people in Michigan and elsewhere find themselves being investigated for tax fraud. Tax evasion is a particularly serious offense that can land a person behind bars for some time if a conviction results. Do tax evasion charges and prison time go hand in hand, though?
One woman’s story
A 69-year-old woman in another state was facing three charges for tax evasion including failure to file, filing false returns and fraudulent schemes — all felony-level charges. All of this stems from her failure to pay taxes on business-related sales between 2012 and 2018. Rather than go through the trial process, on July 13, she pleaded guilty to all three charges. Sentencing in her case is scheduled for Aug. 13.
What consequences did she accept by opting to plead guilty?
The plea agreement she worked out with prosecuting attorneys included supervised probation rather than time behind bars. It also requires her to pay over $181,000 in taxes she had withheld from the government, pay a fine of $10,000, pay investigative costs and cooperate with auditors. Failure to abide by the terms of the plea agreement could result in incarceration.
Prison is not always a given
Facing federal tax evasion charges can be frightening; however, being charged does not necessarily mean a conviction is in one’s future, nor is prison. In some cases, it is possible to fight the charges and clear one’s name. In others, taking a plea agreement can help lessen the consequences — as seen in the case mentioned here. Michigan residents who find themselves facing federal tax fraud charges can turn to legal counsel for assistance fighting for the best possible outcome.