After pleading guilty in federal court of tax evasion and mail fraud, an Oklahoma woman received a 46-month sentence and was ordered to pay over a million dollars to her former employer and over $325,000 to the Internal Revenue Service. The Oklahoman, via its NewsOK.com website, reports that Debra Minshall, age 49, defrauded her former employer, a Chevrolet car dealership, for over 6 years. Minshall was accused of using company checks to pay her own credit card bills.
People who are accused of committing economic crimes, such as mail fraud, will almost inevitably have tax crime allegations as well. One of the obvious reasons for this occurrence is the fact that people who are stealing or defrauding someone of money are usually not going to report their ill-gotten gains in a tax return. In other words, if someone files a tax return which reports $75,000 in income, but the person also embezzled $85,000, then the person's true income would not be $75,000. Therefore, a prosecutor could argue that the person has committed tax fraud by filing a false tax return.
26 U.S.C. § 7201 governs federal tax crimes, and the Tennessee version of the crime of tax evasion can be found at Tennessee Code Annotated § 67-1-1440(g). The required elements for a violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7201 are: (1) existence of a tax deficiency; (2) an affirmative act constituting an evasion or an attempted evasion of the tax; and (3) willfulness. United States v. Nolen, 472 F.3d 362, 377 (5th Cir. 2006).