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Time - Tax Fraud
| FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, MAY 8, 2002
TDD (202) 514-1888
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT SEEKS FINES AND
POSSIBLE JAIL TIME
AGAINST FLORIDA PROMOTER OF TAX FRAUD SCHEMES
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Department of Justice today asked
a federal court in Tampa, Florida, to enter a civil contempt order
against Joseph Sweet and his business, EDM Enterprises for violating
a prior Court order relating to their involvement in tax fraud schemes.
On February 20, 2002, the federal court in Tampa ordered Sweet
and EDM to stop promoting their illegal tax evasion plans, to notify
their clients of the order, and to give the Justice Department documents
identifying all of their clients. According to the government motion
filed today, Sweet and EDM have violated every provision of the
Court's prior order.
In today's court filing, the Department's Tax Division asks the
court to impose fines of up to $6,000 per day against Sweet and
his business if they continue to defy the injunction. In addition,
the government asks that Sweet be imprisoned if the fines do not
result in compliance with the injunction.
"The Justice Department will not tolerate the promotion of illegal
tax evasion schemes, and will seek contempt sanctions where promoters
violate court orders prohibiting their illegal actions," said Eileen
J. O'Connor, Assistant Attorney General for the Department's Tax
In court papers filed previously in the case, the government said
that Sweet and EDM sold and sell tax-avoidance plans stating that
paying federal income taxes is voluntary and that wages are not
income. The court papers also said that the plan materials are sold
in conjunction with Sweet's self-published book "Good News For FORM
1040 Filers: Your Compliance is Strictly VOLUNTARY! BAD NEWS For
The IRS! Everything You Ever Needed to Know About the Income Tax
That the IRS Is Afraid You'll Find Out." Sweet and EDM sold books
and other plan materials to at least 650 persons and sold at least
400 "trusts." The government said that Sweet and EDM's activities
could cost American taxpayers more than $6.5 million. The government
also alleged that numerous web sites advertise "Dr. Sweet's program,"
and Sweet himself actively participates in marketing the plan materials.
People hearing about tax benefits which sound "too good to be
true" should check them out with a trusted professional or the Internal
Revenue Service. Anyone who has information about suspected tax
fraud should report it to the IRS tip line at 1-800-829-0433.