Justice Department Sues to Shut Down Alleged WA State Area Tax Scams

The Justice Department announced earlier this week that it has filed a civil suit seeking to stop Raymond Leo Bell, American Beauty Rose, and The Best Way, Inc., all of Yelm, Washington, from promoting fraudulent tax schemes that use sham trusts and other sham entities.

According to the government’s complaint, Bell helps his customers set up sham trusts and corporations that customers use illegally to eliminate or reduce their federal tax liabilities and to evade IRS collection efforts. The complaint also alleges that the defendants advise customers to falsely claim tax-exempt status for their businesses and to fabricate and inflate improper deductions in a fraudulent attempt to evade income and employment taxes.

The government’s complaint seeks to prohibit defendants from selling any type of arrangement that advocates or facilitates tax evasion or non-compliance with the income tax laws. The complaint also seeks an order directing the defendants to notify their customers of the complaint and any injunction entered by the court, and to provide to the Department of Justice the names, mailing and e-mail addresses, phone numbers, and Social Security or employer identification numbers of any customers who had purchased the firms’ products.

“Stopping tax-scam promotions is a high priority for the Justice Department,” said Eileen J. O’Connor, Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice’s Tax Division. “In addition to shutting down tax scams, we are committed to identifying those who, by using them, have risked civil penalties and, where appropriate, criminal prosecution.”

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