January 29, 2022

News

News Network

Houston Attorney Sentenced to Prison for Offshore Tax Evasion Scheme

24 min read
<div>A Houston, Texas attorney was sentenced to 24 months in prison today for conspiring to defraud the United States and tax evasion, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick for the Southern District of Texas.</div>

Conspired to Secretly Bring to the US More Than $18 Million in Untaxed Money Held in Foreign Banks

A Houston, Texas, attorney was sentenced to 24 months in prison for conspiring to defraud the United States and tax evasion, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick for the Southern District of Texas.

In September 2019, a jury convicted Jack Stephen Pursley, also known as Steve Pursley, of conspiring with a client to repatriate more than $18 million in untaxed income that the client had earned through his company, Southeastern Shipping.  According to the evidence presented at trial, Pursley knew that the client had never paid taxes on these funds so Pursley designed and implemented a scheme to transfer the untaxed funds from Southeastern Shipping’s business bank account, located in the Isle of Man, to the United States.  Pursley helped to conceal the movement of funds from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by disguising the transfers as stock purchases in United States corporations owned and controlled by Pursley and his client.

Pursley received more than $4.8 million and a 25% ownership interest in the co-conspirator’s ongoing business for his role in the fraudulent scheme.  In 2009 and 2010, Pursley evaded the assessment of and failed to pay the taxes he owed on these payments by, among other means, withdrawing the funds as purported non-taxable loans and returns of capital.  Pursley used the money he garnered from the fraudulent scheme for personal investments, and to purchase personal assets, including a vacation home in Vail, Colorado, and property in Houston, Texas.

In addition to the term of imprisonment, U.S. District Judge Lynn N. Hughes ordered Pursley to serve 2 years of supervised release and to pay approximately $1,788,753 in restitution to the United States.

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman and U.S. Attorney Patrick commended special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Trial Attorneys Sean Beaty, Grace Albinson, and Jack Morgan of the Tax Division, who prosecuted the case.

Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the Division’s website.

News Network

  • Justice Department Files Complaint to Stop Distribution of Unapproved, Misbranded, and Adulterated “Poly-MVA” Products
    In Crime News
    The United States filed a civil complaint to stop a California company from distributing unapproved and misbranded drugs and adulterated animal drugs, the Department of Justice announced today.
    [Read More…]
  • Assistant Secretary Schenker Travel to Jordan, Algeria, and Morocco
    In Crime Control and Security News
    David Schenker, [Read More…]
  • Somalia Should Hold Elections Immediately
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
  • China-Based Executive at U.S. Telecommunications Company Charged with Disrupting Video Meetings Commemorating Tiananmen Square Massacre
    In Crime News
    A complaint and arrest warrant were unsealed today in federal court in Brooklyn charging Xinjiang Jin, also known as “Julien Jin,” with conspiracy to commit interstate harassment and unlawful conspiracy to transfer a means of identification.  Jin, an employee of a U.S.-based telecommunications company (Company-1) who was based in the People’s Republic of China (PRC), allegedly participated in a scheme to disrupt a series of meetings in May and June 2020 held to commemorate the June 4, 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre in the PRC.  The meetings were conducted using a videoconferencing program provided by Company-1, and were organized and hosted by U.S-based individuals, including individuals residing in the Eastern District of New York.  Jin is not in U.S. custody.
    [Read More…]
  • Singaporean Shipping Company Fined $12 Million in a Multi-District Case for Concealing Illegal Discharges of Oily Water and Garbage and a Hazardous Condition
    In Crime News
    Pacific Carriers Limited (PCL), a Singapore-based company that owns subsidiaries engaged in international shipping, was sentenced today in federal court before U.S. District Court Judge Louise Flanagan in New Bern, North Carolina, after pleading guilty to violations of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships, obstruction of justice, and for a failure to notify the U.S. Coast Guard of a hazardous condition on the Motor Vessel (M/V) Pac Antares.
    [Read More…]
  • U.S.-China Trade: USTR Should Fully Document Internal Procedures for Making Tariff Exclusion and Extension Decisions
    In U.S GAO News
    What GAO Found The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) developed a process in July 2018 to review tariff exclusion requests for some imported products from China and later developed a process to extend these exclusions. From 2018 to 2020, U.S. stakeholders submitted about 53,000 exclusion requests to USTR for specific products covered by the tariffs. USTR's process consisted of a public comment period to submit requests, an internal review, an interagency assessment, and the decision publication. USTR documented some procedures for reviewing exclusion requests. However, it did not fully document all of its internal procedures, including roles and responsibilities for each step in its review process. GAO reviewed selected exclusion case files and found inconsistencies in the agency's reviews. For example, USTR did not document how reviewers should consider multiple requests from the same company, and GAO's case file review found USTR performed these steps inconsistently. Another case file lacked documentation to explain USTR's final decision because the agency's procedures did not specify whether such documentation was required. Federal internal control standards state that agencies should document their procedures to ensure they conduct them consistently and effectively, and to retain knowledge. Without fully documented internal procedures, USTR lacks reasonable assurance it conducted its reviews consistently. Moreover, documenting them will help USTR to administer any future exclusions and extensions. USTR evaluated each exclusion request on a case-by-case basis using several factors, including product availability outside of China and the potential economic harm of the tariffs. According to USTR officials, no one factor was essential to grant or deny a request. For example, USTR might grant a request that demonstrated the tariffs would cause severe economic harm even when the requested product was available outside of China. USTR denied about 46,000 requests (87 percent), primarily for the failure to show that the tariffs would cause severe economic harm to the requesters or other U.S. interests (see figure). Further, USTR did not extend 75 percent of the tariff exclusions it had granted. USTR's Primary Reasons for Denying Exclusion Requests for Section 301 Tariffs on Products from China, 2018-2020 Note: Totals may not sum due to rounding. Why GAO Did This Study In July 2018, USTR placed tariffs on certain products from China in response to an investigation that found certain trade acts, policies, and practices of China were unreasonable or discriminatory, and burden or restrict U.S. commerce. As of December 2020, the U.S. imposed tariffs on roughly $460 billion worth of Chinese imports under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended. Because these tariffs could harm U.S. workers and manufacturers that rely on these imports, USTR developed a process to exclude some products from these additional tariffs. U.S. businesses and members of Congress have raised questions about the transparency and fairness of USTR's administration of this process. GAO was asked to review USTR's tariff exclusion program. This report (1) examines the processes USTR used to review Section 301 tariff exclusion requests and extensions and (2) describes how USTR evaluated those tariff exclusion requests and extensions, and the outcomes of its decisions. GAO analyzed USTR's public and internal documents relating to the exclusion and extension processes, including 16 randomly selected nongeneralizable case files, and data from USTR and the U.S. Census Bureau. GAO also interviewed agency officials.
    [Read More…]
  • Final Defendant Pleads Guilty in Drug Conspiracy Involving Aryan Circle
    In Crime News
    A Louisiana man pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiring with members of the Aryan Circle (AC) and others to sell methamphetamine. He is the fourth and final defendant charged in the conspiracy to enter a guilty plea.
    [Read More…]
  • Secretary Antony J. Blinken and Colombian Vice President and Foreign Minister Marta Lucia Ramirez De Rincon Before Their Meeting
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
  • Alien Smuggling: DHS Could Better Address Alien Smuggling along the Southwest Border by Leveraging Investigative Resources and Measuring Program Performance
    In U.S GAO News
    This testimony discusses federal efforts to address alien smuggling along the southwest border. Alien smuggling along the southwest border is an increasing threat to the security of the United States and Mexico as well as to the safety of both law enforcement and smuggled aliens. One reason for this increased threat is the involvement of drug trafficking organizations in alien smuggling. According to the National Drug Intelligence Center's (NDIC) 2008 National Drug Threat Assessment, the southwest border region is the principal entry point for smuggled aliens from Mexico, Central America, and South America. Aliens from countries of special interest to the United States such as Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, and Pakistan (known as special-interest aliens) also illegally enter the United States through the region. According to the NDIC assessment, Mexican drug trafficking organizations have become increasingly involved in alien smuggling. These organizations collect fees from alien smuggling organizations for the use of specific smuggling routes, and available reporting indicates that some Mexican drug trafficking organizations specialize in smuggling special-interest aliens into the United States. As a result, these organizations now have alien smuggling as an additional source of funding to counter U.S. and Mexican government law enforcement efforts against them. Violence associated with alien smuggling has also increased in recent years, particularly in Arizona. According to the NDIC assessment, expanding border security initiatives and additional U.S. Border Patrol resources are likely obstructing regularly used smuggling routes and fueling this increase in violence, particularly violence directed at law enforcement officers. Alien smugglers and guides are more likely than in past years to use violence against U.S. law enforcement officers in order to smuggle groups of aliens across the southwest border. In July 2009, a border patrol agent was killed while patrolling the border by aliens illegally crossing the border, the first shooting death of an agent in more than 10 years. Conflicts are also emerging among rival alien smuggling organizations. Assaults, kidnappings, and hostage situations attributed to this conflict are increasing, particularly in Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona. Communities across the country are at risk since among those individuals illegally crossing the border are criminal aliens and gang members who pose public safety concerns for communities throughout the country. Within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Office of Investigations (OI) is responsible for investigating alien smuggling. In addition, DHS's Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and ICE's Office of Detention and Removal Operations (DRO) have alien smuggling-related programs. This testimony is based on a May 2010 report we are releasing publicly today on alien smuggling along the southwest border. As requested, like the report, this testimony will discuss the following key issues: (1) the amount of investigative effort OI has devoted to alien smuggling along the southwest border since fiscal year 2005 and an opportunity for ICE to use its investigative resources more effectively; (2) DHS progress in seizing assets related to alien smuggling since fiscal year 2005 and financial investigative techniques that could be applied along the southwest border to target and seize the monetary assets of smuggling organizations; and (3) the extent to which ICE/OI and CBP measure progress toward achieving alien smuggling-related program objectives. Our May 2010 report also provides a discussion of the extent to which ICE/OI and CBP have program objectives related to alien smuggling.We found the following: (1) OI work years devoted to investigating alien smuggling along the southwest border increased from about 190 work years in fiscal year 2005 to about 197 work years in fiscal year 2009, an overall increase of 4 percent, with hundreds of arrests, indictments, and convictions resulting. The overall number of work years decreased from about 190 work years in fiscal year 2005 to 174 in fiscal year 2008, but increased 23 work years from fiscal years 2008 to 2009 primarily due to an increase in one office. The percentage of time OI investigators spend on alien smuggling investigations, versus other investigative areas, such as drugs, has remained steady during this time period at 16-17 percent. (2) The value of OI alien smuggling asset seizures has decreased since fiscal year 2005, and two promising opportunities exist that could be applied to target and seize the monetary assets of smuggling organizations. According to OI data, the value of alien smuggling seizures nationwide increased from about $11.2 million in fiscal year 2005 to about $17.4 million in fiscal year 2007, but declined to $12.1 million in fiscal year 2008 and to about $7.6 million in fiscal year 2009. (3) OI and CBP have not fully evaluated progress toward achieving alien smuggling-related program objectives. Federal standards for internal control call for agencies to establish performance measures and indicators in order to evaluate the effectiveness of their efforts. One of the major objectives of OI's alien smuggling investigations is to seize smugglers' assets, but OI does not have performance measures for asset seizures related to alien smuggling cases. Tracking the use of asset seizures in alien smuggling investigations as a performance measure could help OI monitor its progress toward its goal of denying smuggling organizations the profit from criminal acts. Thus, in our May 2010 report, we recommended that ICE develop performance measures for asset seizures related to alien smuggling investigations. ICE concurred with the recommendation and stated that ICE is in the process of assessing all of its performance measures and creating a performance plan.
    [Read More…]
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: Information on the Navigation and Ecosystem Sustainability Program
    In U.S GAO News
    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has taken steps to implement its Navigation and Ecosystem Sustainability Program (NESP)—a dual-purpose program for navigation improvements and ecosystem restoration along the Upper Mississippi River system. Specifically, in 2004 the Corps identified 24 navigation improvement projects and 1,010 ecosystem restoration projects and proposed a plan for implementing them. For example, the Corps plans to construct or extend 12 locks to facilitate commercial barge traffic along the river system (see fig.), which the states of Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, and Wisconsin have generally relied on as their principal conduit for export-bound agricultural products. The Corps also plans to restore floodplains along the river system and backwaters that provide habitat for hundreds of species of wildlife. While the total estimated program cost is $7.9 billion, as of October 2020, the Corps has initiated technical studies and designs for 47 NESP projects at a cost of approximately $65 million. Barge Tow at Lock and Dam 15 in Rock Island, Illinois However, the Corps has identified several challenges facing the program, and it has taken steps to mitigate them. Specifically, the Corps was unable to implement NESP projects for 7 years because the program did not receive funding in fiscal years 2011 through 2017, in part because the Corps identified other projects as higher priorities. To mitigate this challenge, the Corps reprogrammed funding to help ensure projects could be executed when funds became available. Another challenge is that the Corps has not yet established partnership agreements that are needed for some NESP ecosystem projects. Corps officials said that about 15 to 20 percent of the ecosystem projects will require partnership agreements in which partners commit to share 35 percent of the project costs, typically through the purchase of land for the project. The officials said that partners may be reluctant to make financial commitments to projects while NESP funding is uncertain. Furthermore, the partnership agreements can take up to 18 months to put in place. To help expedite program implementation, Corps officials said they have pursued projects in fiscal year 2020 that can begin without a commitment from project partners. The Upper Mississippi River system provides approximately $1 billion in annual benefits to the nation’s economy through boating, fishing, and other uses, according to a Corps report. It also supports more than 2.5 million acres of aquatic, wetland, forest, grassland, and agricultural habitats. In 1986, Congress declared its intent to recognize the system as a nationally significant commercial navigation system and a nationally significant ecosystem. However, the Upper Mississippi River’s navigation system has faced significant delays in commercial boating and barge traffic, and human activity has caused a decline in environmental quality, according to a 2004 Corps report. The Corps initiated studies in 1989 and 1990 to identify ways to improve the river system. The Corps issued a feasibility report in 2004 that identified improvement projects, and in 2007 Congress formally authorized NESP and the projects identified in the report. GAO was asked to review NESP. This report describes (1) the steps the Corps has taken to implement NESP and (2) the challenges the Corps has identified to fully implementing the program and steps the Corps is taking to address these challenges. To conduct this work, GAO reviewed Corps reports, documents, and data from fiscal year 2005—the year in which the Corps began implementing NESP projects—through fiscal year 2020. GAO also interviewed Corps officials. For more information, contact Mark Gaffigan at (202) 512-3841 or gaffiganm@gao.gov.
    [Read More…]
  • Travel of Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • Global War on Terrorism: Reported Obligations for the Department of Defense
    In U.S GAO News
    Since 2001, Congress has provided the Department of Defense (DOD) with hundreds of billions of dollars in supplemental and annual appropriations for military operations in support of the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT). DOD's reported annual costs for GWOT have shown a steady increase from about $0.2 billion in fiscal year 2001 to about $98.4 billion in fiscal year 2006. In fiscal year 2007, Congress provided DOD with about $161.8 billion in annual and supplemental appropriations for GWOT. To continue its GWOT operations, DOD has requested $141.7 billion in appropriations for fiscal year 2008. The United States' commitments to GWOT will likely involve the continued investment of significant resources, requiring decision makers to consider difficult trade-offs as the nation faces an increasing long-range fiscal challenge. The magnitude of future costs will depend on several direct and indirect cost variables and, in some cases, decisions that have not yet been made. DOD's future costs will likely be affected by the pace and duration of operations, the types of facilities needed to support troops overseas, redeployment plans, and the amount of equipment to be repaired or replaced. Future cost variables for other U.S. government agencies include the efforts to help form national and provincial governments and build management capacity as well as capable and loyal security forces in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Reconstruction activities to restore, sustain, and protect critical infrastructure will also impose costs. Also, healthcare costs will likely increase as more servicemembers require treatment from injuries and mental health conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder. DOD compiles and reports monthly and cumulative incremental obligations incurred to support GWOT in a monthly Supplemental and Cost of War Execution Report. DOD leadership uses this report, along with other information, to advise Congress on the costs of the war and to formulate future GWOT budget requests. DOD reports these obligations by appropriation, contingency operation, and military service or defense agency. The monthly cost reports are typically compiled in the 45 days after the end of the reporting month in which the obligations are incurred. DOD has prepared monthly reports on the obligations incurred for its involvement in GWOT since fiscal year 2001. Section 1221 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2006 requires us to submit quarterly updates to Congress on the costs of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom based on DOD's monthly Supplemental and Cost of War Execution Reports. This report, which responds to this requirement, contains our analysis of DOD's reported obligations for military operations in support of GWOT through April 2007. Specifically, we assessed (1) DOD's appropriations and reported obligations for military operations in support of GWOT to date and (2) DOD's fiscal year 2007 reported obligations for GWOT by military service and appropriation account.From fiscal year 2001 through July 2007, Congress has provided DOD with about $542.9 billion for its efforts in support of GWOT. DOD has reported obligations of about $429.1 billion for military operations in support of the war from fiscal years 2001 through 2006 and from the beginning of fiscal year 2007 through April 2007, the latest available data. The $113.8 billion difference between DOD's GWOT appropriations and reported obligations can generally be attributed to certain fiscal year 2007 appropriations and multiyear funding for procurement; military construction; and research, development, test, and evaluation from previous GWOT-related appropriations that have yet to be obligated, and obligations for classified activities, which are not included in DOD's reported obligations. DOD's total reported obligations related to GWOT have demonstrated a steady annual increase each fiscal year through 2006. Through April 2007, DOD's total reported obligations are already more than three quarters of the total amount of obligations it reported for all of fiscal year 2006. In addition, DOD's reported investment obligations--which include procurement; research, development, test, and evaluation; and military construction, through April 2007--are approximately one and a half times higher than its reported obligations for investments during all of fiscal year 2006. As a result, total reported obligations for fiscal year 2007 may well exceed the amount reported for fiscal year 2006. DOD's reported obligations to date include about $324.9 billion for operations in and around Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and about $76.5 billion for operations in Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa, the Philippines, and elsewhere as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. It also includes about $27.7 billion for operations in defense of the homeland as part of Operation Noble Eagle. DOD's reported fiscal year 2007 obligations as of April 2007 total $76.6 billion. The Army accounts for the largest proportion of reported obligations--about $55.0 billion, nearly eight times higher than the almost $6.9 billion in obligations reported for the Marine Corps, the service with the next greatest reported amount. Among appropriation accounts, operation and maintenance, which include items such as support for housing, food, and services; the repair of equipment; and transportation to move people, supplies, and equipment, accounts for the largest reported obligations--about $38.9 billion. Obligations for investment, which include procurement; research, development, test, and evaluation; and military construction, account for more than a quarter of reported obligations or about $21.6 billion. In previous work, we reported that significant amounts of multiyear procurement funding provided in the fiscal year 2006 supplemental appropriation would likely not be obligated by DOD in fiscal year 2006 and would remain available for use in fiscal year 2007. A large amount of these multiyear funds has since been obligated.
    [Read More…]
  • Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Request: U.S. Government Accountability Office
    In U.S GAO News
    This testimony discusses the U.S. Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) budget request for fiscal year (FY) 2013. GAO very much appreciates the confidence Congress has shown in the efforts to help support the Congress in carrying out its constitutional responsibilities and to help improve government performance and accountability for the benefit of the American people.GAO is requesting an appropriation of $526.2 million for FY 2013 to support a staffing level of 3,100. This funding level represents a modest increase of 2.9 percent over FY 2012, and is 5.4 percent below our FY 2010 level. The majority of the requested increase represents the first step in rebuilding our staff capacity to a level that will enable us to optimize the benefits we yield for the Congress and the nation.We have carefully reviewed every aspect of our operations from a zero base to identify opportunities to reduce costs without sacrificing the quality of our work and preserving our ability to assist the Congress in addressing the most important priorities facing the nation. However, given that staff costs now represent about 81 percent of our budget and the deep reductions already taken in our infrastructure programs, reducing the size of our workforce could not be avoided. By the end of FY 2012, for the first time in over 75 years, GAO’s staffing level will drop below 3,000 staff, resulting in a net reduction of 11 percent in our staff capacity, or 365 people, in only a 2-year period.GAO’s work directly contributes to improvements in a broad array of federal programs affecting Americans everywhere and remains one of the best investments across the federal government. With this committee’s support, in FY 2011, GAO provided assistance to every standing congressional committee and about 70 percent of their subcommittees. GAO issues hundreds of products annually in response to congressional requests and mandates. Our work yielded significant results across the government, including financial benefits of $45.7 billion—a return on investment of $81 for every dollar invested in GAO. Our findings and recommendations produce measurable financial benefits for the federal government, enabled through the actions of Congress and Executive Branch agencies, ultimately making funds available to reduce government expenditures, reallocate funds to more productive areas, or increase revenues.
    [Read More…]
  • [Protest of BOP Cancellation of Solicitation for Correctional Facility Construction]
    In U.S GAO News
    A firm protested the Bureau of Prisons' (BOP) cancellation of a solicitation for correctional facility construction, contending that BOP: (1) improperly cancelled the solicitation, since the specifications were not defective; and (2) should have made award to it, since it was the low bidder. GAO held that BOP properly cancelled the solicitation, since the conflicting specifications: (1) misled bidders and precluded them from competing on an equal basis; and (2) prejudiced the other bidders regarding the applicability of certain sales taxes. Accordingly, the protest was denied.
    [Read More…]
  • Former Long Island Construction Business Owner Sentenced to Prison for Employment Tax Fraud
    In Crime News
    A Long Island, New York, business owner in the construction industry was sentenced to one year and one day in prison yesterday for employment tax fraud.
    [Read More…]
  • Former Labor Union Chief of Staff Convicted of Health Care Fraud
    In Crime News
    A federal jury in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia convicted an Arkansas man on Friday for fraudulently arranging for a labor union to provide health plan coverage to his girlfriend, who was never a union employee.
    [Read More…]
  • Secretary Blinken’s Call with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • Alleged NCAA ticket fraudster taken into custody
    In Justice News
    Read full article at: [Read More…]
  • Secretary Pompeo’s Call with Australian Foreign Minister Payne
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • Secretary Pompeo’s Call with Mongolia’s President Battulga
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
Network News © 2005 Area.Control.Network™ All rights reserved.