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“These lawyers are the ‘best of the best’ in their field.  They are simply outstanding.  Platitudes are thrown around casually these days, but truly, these men and women are the best at what they do.  All of the attorneys we worked with are outstanding technicians who are highly respected, but speak in plain English when solving complex and sophisticated issues.”  Client Commentary, Chambers USA

For over 40 years, Caplin & Drysdale has been representing clients with criminal tax problems, ranging from the failure to file returns to more sophisticated forms of potential tax evasion. These cases are extremely serious, with the possibility of imprisonment and financial ruin. Decisions made when an investigation begins can have a critical impact on the result. If you or your company may have a criminal tax problem, we can help. View our brochure.

Practice Area(s)

  • Criminal Investigations

Criminal Investigations

Every year thousands of taxpayers find themselves entangled in IRS criminal investigations or prosecutions. Caplin & Drysdale brings a unique combination of solid criminal defense experience and extensive tax experience to assist individuals and organizations subject to these serious investigations. We investigate and determine the relevant facts, analyze the possible defenses, and respond to developments in the ongoing investigation. We know the policies and procedures of the IRS and the Department of Justice, and we make every effort to resolve cases favorably for the client at an early stage by presenting factual and legal defenses aimed at avoiding criminal charges.

Representative Engagements

  1. A prominent businessman was "turned in" to the IRS by a disgruntled employee, where there was no evidence of criminal wrongdoing.

    Result: After extensive factual development and collateral litigation involving the informant, Caplin & Drysdale persuaded the Department of Justice not to bring criminal charges.

  2. The IRS recommended criminal charges against a wealthy individual for issues arising from various gifts and gift tax returns.

    Result: After analyzing the various documents and exploring the technical tax issues presented by the case, Caplin & Drysdale persuaded the Justice Department to refer the case back to the IRS for a civil resolution.

  3. An international trading company was confronted with an IRS criminal investigation looking into allegations that it fraudulently used foreign subsidiaries to conceal income subject to U.S. taxes.

    Caplin & Drysdale conducted an in-depth investigation into the transactions that the IRS was targeting. The investigation, which covered three continents, uncovered sufficient facts to persuade the prosecutors to dismiss all of the charges prior to trial.

  4. A Certified Public Accountant who unknowingly prepared false tax returns for a large-scale drug smuggler was indicted for money laundering and preparation of false tax returns after his former client became a government witness in exchange for leniency.

    Result: After an intensive pretrial internal investigation, Caplin & Drysdale was able to present a full and complete factual defense to all of the charges which resulted in the accountant being acquitted by the jury of all charges.

  5. The IRS investigated the owner of a large oil service business. The IRS contended that the owner improperly deducted personal expenses as corporate advertising expenses and recommended that he be criminally prosecuted.

    Result: Caplin & Drysdale's legal analysis of the taxpayer's position found Tax Court cases favorable to the owner's position. This information was furnished to the Department of Justice who declined to prosecute.

  6. The IRS believed that a small business owner had evaded the payment of taxes by making false statements during IRS collection proceedings aimed at collecting unpaid payroll taxes.

    Result: Caplin & Drysdale created a chronology of the client's efforts to pay his taxes and advice he had received from other professionals, and persuaded the Justice Department not to indict. The matter was worked out in civil collection proceedings and an offer in compromise was reached.