LAS VEGAS — A couple from Iowa and a Las Vegas accountant were charged today with conspiring to defraud the IRS of more than $700,000 through a scheme in which they allegedly used nominee corporations and nominee bank accounts to hide their income and other assets.
Darlene Taylor McCord and James Bert McCord of Iowa City, Iowa, and Wendell Leroy Waite of Las Vegas are charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States. Waite is also charged with one count of income tax evasion and four counts of aiding in the preparation and filing of false and fraudulent federal tax returns.
Darlene and James McCord are also charged with four counts of making and subscribing false and fraudulent federal individual and corporate tax returns, one count of making a false financial condition statement, and nine counts of attempting to evade or defeat the payment of their federal taxes, penalties and interest.
The defendants are scheduled to make initial appearances before a federal magistrate judge in Las Vegas at 3 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19. If convicted, they face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the conspiracy and tax evasion charges, and up to three years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the false or fraudulent tax return charges.
According to the indictment, Darlene and James McCord were the owner of several Nevada corporations, TOB Management, Inc. Que 1 Inc., and HTR Group Inc. Waite was a licensed certified public accountant in Nevada, California, and Utah, who resided and worked in Nevada.
On June 23, 2003, the McCords allegedly owed the IRS approximately $197,420 in personal income taxes, and owed an additional IRS Trust Fund Recovery Penalty of approximately $547,788. From approximately May 2004 through February 2008, the McCords received personal income of more than $2.7 million.
Waite was associated with the Asset Protection Group Inc., (APG) whose primarily function was to offer services to individuals who were trying to hide their assets from creditors, including the IRS, through the use of nominee corporations, nominee bank checking accounts, and “friendly liens” designed to create the illusion that a person’s assets were encumbered by liens. Beginning in about November 2004, the McCords deposited about $2.7 million into an APG bank escrow account and/or into one of their corporate accounts, allegedly for the purpose of hiding the money from the IRS.
In about February 2005, APG allegedly referred the McCords to Waite for accounting and tax purposes and over the next two years, Waite filed multiple fraudulent federal tax returns for the McCord’s and their nominee corporations concealing their true income and assets.
The case is being investigated by IRS Criminal Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Gregory Damm.
— From news release