Insurance agent, attorneys indicted in multimillion-dollar scam

A North Carolina insurance coverage agent and two St. Louis tax attorneys have been indicted on expenses associated to a $200 million insurance coverage rip-off and the operation of a fraudulent tax shelter that brought on a tax loss to the IRS of tens of hundreds of thousands of {dollars}.

David Shane Simmons, a North Carolina insurance coverage dealer, and attorneys Michael Elliott Kohn and Catherine Elizabeth Chollet have been charged with conspiring to defraud america and serving to shoppers file false tax returns, in accordance with the Division of Justice.

The DOJ alleged that the three conspired to defraud america by selling, advertising and promoting to shoppers a tax rip-off referred to as the Acquire Elimination Plan (GEP). Simmons, Kohn and Chollet allegedly designed the GEP to hide shoppers’ revenue from the IRS by fraudulently inflating enterprise bills by phony royalties and administration charges. These fictitious charges have been paid – on paper – to a restricted partnership largely owned by a charitable group, the DOJ mentioned. In actuality, Kohn and Chollet allegedly fabricated the royalties and charges.

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The indictment additionally alleges that Kohn and Simmons collaborated in a scheme to bilk an insurance coverage firm by offering false info on insurance coverage functions on behalf of their shoppers. The phony info allegedly included fictitious representations in regards to the shoppers’ financials and the aim of the insurance coverage insurance policies. In whole, the insurance coverage firm issued greater than $200 million in insurance coverage insurance policies primarily based on false info, the DOJ mentioned. Simmons allegedly earned giant commissions on these insurance policies, lots of which he break up with Kohn and Chollet. Simmons additionally allegedly filed false tax returns by underreporting his enterprise revenue and inflating his bills.

If convicted, Simmons, Kohn and Chollet every face a most of 5 years in jail for conspiring to defraud america and three years for every of a number of counts of aiding and helping within the preparation of false tax returns. Simmons and Kohn additionally every resist 20 years for wire fraud, and Simmons faces a further three years for a number of counts of submitting false private tax returns.



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