Used Offshore Insurance Wrappers and Precious Metals to Attempt to Hide Assets from the IRS
A Hoover, Alabama, salesman was sentenced to 24 months in prison yesterday for tax evasion, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Prim F. Escalona for the Northern District of Alabama.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Ivan Scott “Scott” Butler was an automobile industry consultant and sold automobile warranties as an independent salesman. In 1993, Butler stopped filing tax returns and attended tax defier meetings and purchased tax defier materials. Starting in 1998, Butler used several Nevada nominee corporations to receive his income and conceal it from the IRS. In or around 1999, Butler moved hundreds of thousands of dollars to bank accounts in Switzerland and hid his assets in offshore insurance policies held in the name of non-U.S. insurance providers, thus disguising his ownership of the funds. Such accounts, which generally are used as investment vehicles, are commonly known as “insurance wrappers.”
In 2014, Butler converted some of his insurance wrappers into precious metals, which were shipped to Butler and another individual in the United States. Some of those precious metals were given to friends and family for safekeeping. In total, Butler caused a tax loss to the IRS of $1,093,400.
On March 6, 2020, Butler pleaded guilty to tax evasion.
In addition to the term of imprisonment, U.S. District Judge Annemarie Carney Axon ordered Butler to serve three years of supervised release and to pay approximately $1,093,400 in restitution to the United States.
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman and U.S. Attorney Prim F. Escalona commended special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Trial Attorney Nanette Davis of the Tax Division and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Allison Garnett and Robin Mark, who prosecuted the case.
Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the division’s website.