The tax evasion case of Houston tech billionaire Robert T. Brockman has received a new venue, with a federal judge granting the move of his trial on fraud charges from San Francisco to Houston.
According to the Houston Chronicle, the $2 billion tax fraud case is the largest tax evasion scheme in United States history. Brockman is accused of masterminding the scheme and has been charged with tax evasion, wire fraud and failure to disclose foreign bank accounts.
The shift in venue granted by U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco came after Brockman’s lawyers claimed that the software magnate, age 79, has a form of dementia and suffers from Parkinson’s disease, Parkinsonism, Lewy body dementia or a combination of all three, as well as short-term and long-term memory loss.
In arguing for a change of venue, his attorneys cited Brockman’s declining health along with Department of Justice guidelines that require such trials take place “in the judicial district of the taxpayer’s residence or principal place of business.”
Brockman has pleaded not guilty to the charges, which arose last October in a 39-count indictment claiming that he had used a group of Caribbean entities to conceal $2 billion in income.
Brockman is founder and former chief executive of Reynolds & Reynolds Co., which produces software used by auto dealerships to manage the financing process and to organize inventory.
Tax evasion charges are serious
The white collar crimes of fraud and tax evasion can involve serious federal charges—and such charges can target average citizens, not just corporate leaders.
How does this happen?
A federal tax fraud investigation often begins with a defendant receiving a letter from the Criminal Investigation Division (CID) of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
The IRS then may contact the defendant’s family, friends or colleagues to build a case. The defendant also will be contacted, and his or her home or office may be searched or raided by armed IRS Special Agents and federal marshals.
Then, the defendant may be arrested and formally charged.
Penalties for tax evasion can be severe
The federal penalties for a felony offense of tax evasion or fraud can be quite severe. If convicted of tax evasion, a person could face punishments including as much as 5 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. A business which is convicted of tax fraud could be fined as much as $500,000.
Sentencing also may involve probation and paying restitution.
Be wary of defense lawyers who were former IRS agents
In choosing a fraud or tax evasion attorney, defendants should be wary of defense lawyers for such cases who happen to have been former federal prosecutors or former agents of the IRS. They may be inclined to support settlements in a case which benefit the government more than their client.
Neal Davis Law Firm has high honors for white collar work
The Neal Davis Law Firm has received high honors for its work defending clients charged with white collar crimes.
Best Lawyers in America has honored Davis for his expertise in handling cases involving Criminal Defense: White Collar, as well as his work in Criminal Defense: General Practice.
In addition, the Neal Davis Law Firm has been ranked as a Metropolitan Tier 1 law firm for Criminal Defense-White Collar by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers, as indicated in the Tenth Edition of Best Law Firms rankings for 2020.