New Jersey Federal tax fraud attorneys may discuss the case of United States v. Tweel because of its important holding and implications for tax cases. Here is an overview of what you may need to know.
In this Fifth Circuit case, the appellate court held that the Internal Revenue Service committed trickery, fraud and deceit when it conducted a criminal investigation under the guise of a civil examination.
Facts of the Case
Tweel, the taxpayer, was going through a civil examination. However, Tweel’s representative was concerned that the criminal unit of the agency was involved. He specifically inquired with the IRS agent whether the Criminal Investigation Division was being conducted. The agent stated that it was not. As a result, Tweel’s representative cooperated with the civil examination and delivered records to the agent. While the Criminal Investigation Division was not technically involved, another federal agency conducted a criminal investigation. In fact, the civil examination was being conducted at this other agency’s request.
Tweel was indicted and filed a motion to suppress the records that were obtained. He argued that the IRS’ failure to disclose the criminal nature of the investigation constituted deception. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with him and suppressed the documents that the government acquired during the civil examination.
Revenue agents have a legal duty to be honest as they are government officials. Silence of an agent can also be deemed fraudulent when not answering the question is intentionally misleading. For more information on this case and its implications, Montclair and New Jersey Federal tax fraud attorneys can be consulted at Lorraine Gauli-Rufo at (973) 239-4300.