Miami Tax Fraud & Evasion Lawyer

The act of tax evasion is always complex. Unfortunately, making a mistake — even a seemingly small one — can lead to federal charges. Sometimes it is as simple as relying on the advice of an accountant who is cutting corners and not advising their clients properly.

Tax laws can be very complex. So if you are facing tax evasion charges in Florida, you may need help figuring out what to do.

You are looking at prison time, probation, and hefty fines if convicted. Your assets, even your home, can be frozen and taken from you by the government.

With so much at stake, getting the right legal counsel as soon as possible to discuss your case and determine your best course of action is imperative. Contact the Kirlew Law Firm today to speak with Brian Kirlew, Esq., our experienced Miami white-collar attorney right away.

What is Tax Evasion?

It is worth noting that tax fraud and tax evasion are similar but different charges. While they do overlap, they have specific definitions under federal criminal statutes.

Tax evasion is the act of willfully attempting to evade the assessment or payment of taxes. 

This includes underreporting income and overstating deductions and expenses. Tax evasion often goes hand-in-hand with other white-collar crimes such as mortgage fraud, money laundering, and insurance fraud.

Remember that failing to pay does not constitute tax evasion unless done with malicious intent — deliberately misrepresenting your income or deductions to under-report your tax liability.

On the other hand, tax fraud occurs when a person knowingly files fraudulent returns. There are many different ways someone can file false tax returns. However, the most common involves obtaining or trying to obtain a refund by filing an incomplete return or making false claims about your income, exemptions, deductions, or credits.

Penalties for Tax Evasion in South Florida

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has various methods of identifying who might be committing tax evasion. When they do find someone who may have been attempting to commit this crime, then they will go through their finances with a fine tooth comb and determine what amount they owe in back taxes plus any penalties for taking so long to report the money. 

The penalties for a conviction of tax evasion in federal court depending on the amount of unpaid taxes owed and whether it is a civil or criminal offense. Tax evasion is covered under IRC § 7201. A federal tax evasion conviction can result in a term of imprisonment of up to five years. Additionally, the IRS can add a monetary fine to your tax bill, place a lien on your property or implement a tax levy to seize your income, property, or financial accounts. You can also be barred from operating a business in South Florida and denied government contracts or jobs. Tax evasion, however, is rarely charged by itself. It is usually a part of a larger indictment where a slew of white-collar crimes is alleged. If you receive a letter from the IRS, you need to contact a white-collar defense attorney immediately.

In Florida state court,  being charged with tax evasion at the state level can be punishable as a misdemeanor or felony.

  • If the taxes evaded are worth less than $300, then it is considered a first or second-degree misdemeanor and carries a sentence of up to one-year imprisonment and/or up to $1,000 in fines.
  • If the taxes evaded are worth less than $20,000 but more than $300, then it is considered a third-degree felony and carries a sentence of up to five years imprisonment and/or up to $5,000 in fines.
  • If the taxes evaded are worth less than $100,000 but more than $20,000, then it is considered a second-degree felony and carries a sentence of up to fifteen years imprisonment and/or up to $10,000 in fines.
  • If the taxes evaded are more than $100,000, it is considered a first-degree felony and carries a sentence of up to thirty years imprisonment and/or up to $10,000 in fines.

The penalties for tax evasion can be significant, and there is no way to sugarcoat them. If you find yourself facing tax evasion charges, then your best bet is to contact a South Florida white-collar attorney as soon as possible.

Act Quickly to Defend Your Rights — Contact the Kirlew Law Firm NOW!

Tax crimes carry serious penalties, and the laws surrounding them can be confusing and nuanced simultaneously. Before you can protect yourself from these charges, it is essential to know exactly what they mean, how you might face them, what your rights are when facing them, and how you might be able to defend yourself against them if you are accused. This is where retaining a skilled Miami white-collar lawyer like Brian Kirlew, Esq. can make all the difference.

Regardless of the nature of the charges, the team at the Kirlew Law Firm will aggressively fight to defend your rights and challenge any wrongful claims that have been made against you. We take pride in our track record for victories achieved by giving clients personal attention and individualized legal representation through all stages of litigation. Call (305) 521-0484 or contact us online to get started on your defense. 

Brian Kirlew
Heidi S. Kirlew

Antitrust laws were established to protect trade and commerce from abusive practices. Violations can include price-fixing, price discrimination, restraints, and monopolization.

This form of white-collar crime is increasingly common as more people use computers, phones, and other internet-enabled devices to commit acts of fraud, hacking, extortion, and theft.

Thieves take personal information to access banking and financial accounts, make purchases, open utility accounts, or steal tax refunds. In some cases, an identity thief may even use a false identity during an arrest.

This white-collar crime occurs when a thrift utilizes a stolen credit card or other information from that account to make unauthorized purchases. In some cases, they may use the stolen information to take out cash advances against the account.

The illicit selling of fake goods or services over the phone. Many phone scams are framed as a giveaway, or free offer in exchange for sensitive information, like access to banking or credit card accounts.

Often paired with another form of fraud, bankruptcy fraud can be the concealment of assets to prevent forfeiting them, filing incomplete or false forms, filing multiple times in different locations using fake or forged documents, and bribing of court-appointed trustees.

Largely committed by organized crime groups, this form of fraud includes performing unnecessary procedures to bill an insurance company, billing for services that were never rendered, and billing every step of one procedure as if they were individual procedures.

Environmental law makes actions like the illegal disposal of waste, improper storage of hazardous materials, or failure to comply with EPA and state regulations illegal.

An act committed to defraud an insurance company is considered a white-collar crime. This could include attempting to obtain benefits or advantages that an individual is not entitled to or when an insurer denies benefits that someone is due.

One of the most common forms of fraud, mail fraud is when the USPS or private carrier is used to commit a crime of deceit. This could be to obtain money or to sell and distribute illicit goods.

These forms of fraud start with a scheme to steal or obtain financial information by using false representation or promises of goods and services in return.

Crimes committed through extortion and coercion are considered racketeering. Generally, a racketeer obtains money or goods from someone using intimidation tactics or force.

Largely connected to federal government contracting or federally-funded programs, government fraud might involve public housing, agricultural programs, corporate subsidies, and bribery.

This form of white-collar crime is the deliberate failure to pay your taxes or the underpayment of the taxes you owe. It can be underreporting of income, overreporting of deductions, or improperly claiming tax credits and exemptions.

Also called investment fraud, securities fraud involves misrepresenting the information that investors use to make financial decisions.

This is the trading of the stock or securities of a public company that is based on non-public information about the company. This is the profiteering of information based on a company’s assets.

A bribe is the giving or receiving of something of value in order to influence the actions of another person or group.

The major focus of the FBI, public corruption covers a variety of crimes, including the violation of federal law by public officials, fraud related to the procurement, contracts, and funding of federal programs, and other crimes that are related to local, state, and federal governments.

By withholding assets, funds, or goods from an employer or business partner, you are committing an act of embezzlement.

Generally sponsored by foreign entities or outside corporations, economic espionage can target the U.S. government, U.S. companies, or other establishments and institutions. Economic espionage is the unlawful obtaining of financial information

Trade secrets are the information or assets that give a company an advantage over others in the market. The theft of these assets is when someone uses this information without consent of the business.

In addition to State White Collar crime, we also represent clients charged with Federal White Collar crimes,

which are regulated by Titles 18 and 26 of the United States Code. Some of these federal offenses include:

How are White Collar Crimes Investigated?

In almost every federal white-collar criminal investigation, the federal agents and local police officers involved in the case shadow their suspects for months and even years. They utilize wiretaps, subpoenaed bank records, videotape conversations and meetings, property and assets, business records, and cooperating witnesses. The agents often seek to make pre-indictment deals with codefendants or coworkers who they threaten to charge if they don’t talk.

The feds have unlimited resources and they are extremely patient in their investigations. Many times, an agent will get so committed to an investigation that they bend the rules, alleged they witnessed activity that they didn’t and innocent people get wrapped up in the conspiracy that they knew nothing about. This is why it is critical to contact a Miami white-collar attorney the moment you suspect you are the target of a white-collar criminal investigation. With the help of our investigators and forensic accountants, we can often mitigate the exposure a client may face in a white collar criminal prosecution.


White Collar

What is White-Collar Crime?

Generally, white-collar crime is investigated and prosecuted by federal authorities. This means that white-collar crime cases have higher conviction rates than other crimes. Federal prosecutors are able to leverage more resources to pursue a white-collar crime case and are encouraged to close the case quickly.

The punishment for a white-collar crime varies based on what level the crime is being prosecuted at, whether state or federal, and the amount of money involved in the crime. There are no set guidelines that dictate the severity of penalty based on the amount of money stolen; however, generally, larger amounts are punished more severely.

Since the 2002 and 2008 financial crises, there have been more penalties and convictions for white-collar crimes, and as such, penalties have become more severe. On average, a sentence for money laundering is about 48 months in prison. Those convicted of bribery could face 16 months, and those for fraud, 12 months. Tax offenses generally result in 16 months of jail time. And if there are more than five victims, the loss amount is in the millions as opposed to the thousands or the accused qualifies for a host of other enhancements, these penalties can be significantly higher.


When You Should Hire an Attorney When Convicted of a White Collar Crime?

Given the harsh nature of the penalties for white-collar crimes and that federal authorities often lead these investigations, you must hire an attorney in Miami as soon as you’re convicted. In some cases, defendants are only aware of the investigation just a few weeks or months before an arrest is made. It’s important to use any lead time you may have to build a case with an attorney.

While your attorney can’t stop an investigation, they can work with you to defend your rights before, during, and after the trial. If nothing else, you must have a legal representative with you whenever you deal with a federal investigator or while you’re being questioned.

Why You Need a Competent Attorney

When you work with a skilled criminal defense attorney like those at the Kirlew Law Firm, they’ll maintain clear lines of communication with the prosecution throughout your investigation. This could lead to a favorable negotiation before any arrests are made, or the formal prosecution starts.

More than just negotiations, a competent white-collar crime attorney can help draft legal defenses that can help your case. Our attorneys can cross-examine witnesses, manage information about the case, and challenge physical exhibits and financial records that may be used to seal your case. Ultimately, a talented attorney like Brian Kirlew can find small inconsistencies or faults in the prosecution to bolster your defense.


Contact a Miami White Collar Criminal Attorney today!

If you are being investigated for a White Collar crime at the state or federal level (or both), the sooner you get a qualified attorney on your side to protect your rights, the better. Brian Kirlew, Esq. is experienced and skilled at handling these complex and sensitive matters, and is here to represent you in court. Our criminal defense attorneys in Miami are proud to offer you a free phone consultation to ensure that we can best serve you. Contact us immediately to get started.