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| FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, MARCH 13, 2003
TDD (202) 514-1888
JUSTICE ASKS COURT TO STOP ALLEGED MAJOR
Irwin Schiff, twice convicted of
tax crimes, allegedly promotes
fraudulent tax schemes on radio and television
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Late yesterday, the Justice Department asked a
federal court in Las Vegas to issue a restraining order stopping Irwin Schiff
and two associates, Cynthia Neun and Lawrence N. Cohen, from promoting an alleged
major tax fraud scam. In the complaint and brief filed in the District of Nevada,
the government alleges that Schiff, Neun, and Cohen conduct seminars and sell
audiotapes and other products designed to help customers evade federal taxes,
primarily by filing income-tax returns falsely listing no income and no tax
The Justice Department further alleges that Schiff has promoted his scheme
on national talk-radio shows and has twice appeared as a guest on a national
cable-television news program. The Department has asked the court to stop Schiff
and his associates from selling their tax scams, preparing federal tax returns
and holding tax seminars, including one scheduled for March 29th in Las Vegas.
"Shutting down tax scammers is a high priority for the Justice Department," said
Eileen J. O'Connor, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Justice Department's
Tax Division. "We have zero tolerance for those who make a living selling
tax-scheme packages that falsely promise zero tax liability."
Previously, Schiff has been convicted twice for federal tax crimes. According
to papers filed in the suit, Schiff's customers have also been found guilty
of tax crimes and received monetary penalties for asserting Schiff's false
positions about the tax laws; federal courts have called those positions "frivolous." The
complaint also alleges that the IRS estimates that Schiff's customers have
attempted to evade over $56 million in income taxes, from 1999 to 2001.
This lawsuit is the latest in a series of actions brought by the Justice Department
in recent years against alleged tax scam promoters across the country. In the
past two years, the Department has filed suits asking for injunction orders
against 32 promoters and has prevailed in every case decided so far.
"We plan to go after many more and will continue pursuing tax scam promoters
until the problem is solved," said Assistant Attorney General O'Connor.
For copies of documents filed in this case and for information on other tax
scam enforcement actions, go online to http://www.usdoj.gov/tax/.