It comes as no surprise that the majority of crimes in the U.S. deal with or are motivated by money. Some of the most common crimes related to money, however, include tax offenses, public corruption, and drug trafficking. It is actually for this reason that the IRS conducts criminal financial investigations. In fact, because individuals involved in major drug crimes cannot report their illicitly acquired assets (money and property), the IRS can often prosecute members of drug conspiracies for money laundering and tax evasion, similar to the case with Al Capone.
Nonetheless, defendants convicted of federal drug crimes are sometimes charged with violations of tax law as well. If you are arrested for federal drug crimes or tax offenses, it is essential to contact a team of experienced federal defense lawyers who can help fight for your innocence and freedom. Call Grabel & Associates today for a free consultation or contact us online. In the meantime, you can learn more about federal drug crimes and tax offenses below.
Federal drug crimes are quite different from violations of an individual state’s penal code. Because any drug offense is considered both a state and federal crime, technically anyone arrested for a drug crime can end up in the federal system. Although this does happen, federal drug laws are designed for individuals committing drug crimes on federal property, operating or being part of a drug conspiracy (especially if it spans states and countries), or being arrested by an undercover federal agent.
Being convicted of a federal drug crime can result in some very serious penalties, including mandatory minimum sentences, extensive fines, and even a seizure of assets associated with the drug crimes. As mentioned above, alleged offenders are sometimes also charged with violations of tax laws, as the “dirty money” often goes unreported or laundered.
It is important to remember that the majority of tax fraud cases are not related to federal drug crimes, and while investigating an alleged drug crime offender, prosecutors may also charge tax fraud as a means to justify a common method of hiding cash from law enforcement and the government. As a general definition, tax fraud is a form of tax invasion that includes a willful act done to defraud the IRS. To defraud the IRS, the alleged offender will intently underreport income, overestimate expenses and deductions, not collect employment taxes, or not file an annual tax return,
Because individuals and organizations have to pay their fair share of tax liability on income, even if that income was illegally obtained through unlawful activities, the IRS may charge alleged federal drug criminals if they didn’t pay taxes on the income they received. Through both tax fraud and evasion, investigators and prosecutors may follow the money trail to the source of the illegal activity to build a federal drug crime case against a drug conspiracy.
Money laundering is perhaps one of the most common ways that narcotic organizations “clean” their illegally obtained money by filtering it through a business or property (or other means, such as buying casino chips). In some cases, the organization will pay taxes on the laundered money so as to remain distant from IRS scrutiny.
The IRS Criminal Investigation Division (CID) has extensive legal powers and, in addition to tracking down and prosecuting financial criminals, the CID also supports other initiatives and strategies aimed at domestic and international drug traffickers. This is where one of the most significant legal issues arises in terms of federal drug crime charges via a tax offense, as in according with the RICO Act and the federal CCE charge, an individual working the books may be unaware of the fraud, evasion, or money laundering going on, but can still be arrested as part of the larger narcotic conspiracy.
The IRS and federal law enforcement certainly have extensive legal powers in regards to tax offenses and federal drug crimes, and in some cases, this overreach of power puts innocent individuals behind bars. If you are under investigation or have been charged with this crime, it is essential to contact the criminal defense attorneys at Grabel & Associates as soon as possible. With practical experience in both tax and federal drug cases, your team of defense attorneys is prepared to provide your case with aggressive, industry-leading defense strategies combined with the utmost competence and professionalism. To start building your case today, contact Grabel & Associates at 1-800-342-7896 for a free consultation.