Wednesday, March 13, 2013
The Minnesota Supreme Court has disbarred an attorney as a result of federal convictions that included mail and wire fraud.
The scheme involved a corporation that the attorney and his mother formed to market an educational software program to low-income customers primarily in African-American, Hmong and Somali communities. The corporation was called CyberStudy.
The attorney made false representations to software customers and "engaged in a scheme in which CyberStudy filed tax returns to obtain Minnesota Education Tax Credit on behalf of the those customers" while "aware that the CyberStudy product did not meet all the requirements to qualify for the tax credit."
He forged signatures on powers-of-attorney to file tax returns.
The scheme netted CyberStudy approximately $2.35 million in tax credits.
He also made false representations to Kmart, which delivered 2,284 computers to CyberStudy but never was paid.
CBS Minnesota reported that he was sentenced to eleven years in prison:
The charges said Morris and [his mother] Louper-Morris filed at least 1,800 false tax returns for tax years 2000 and 2001, and because of that they were wired tax credits totaling more than $2.1 million.
The [U.S.] attorney’s office also said Morris understated his own income on his 2001 federal income tax return by failing to report more than $400,000 from CyberStudy. With the money, he and his mother made a $300,000 payment on a home and bought a $74,000 Mercedes SUV, $7,500 mink coat and a chinchilla-trimmed hat.