Saturday, June 2, 2012

Tax Offenses By Tax Attorney

An attorney who had been reprimanded in Massachusetts received reciprocal discipline of a public censure by the New York Appellate Division for the First Judicial Department.

The misconduct had taken place while the attorney was employed by the Internal Revenue Service:

On or about May 18, 2011, the Supreme Judicial Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for Suffolk County issued an order directing its Board of Bar Overseers to issue an order publicly reprimanding respondent based on professional discipline imposed by the United States Department of the Treasury, Office of Professional Discipline (OPR), which suspended respondent on January 20, 2010 for four years from practicing before the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for willfully failing to file his personal federal tax return for 2002, and filing late returns for 2000 and 2001, and 2003-2005...

Respondent is a practicing tax attorney and partner in the Boston based law firm of Nachmias, Morris & Alt. From 1993 to about 1998 respondent was an attorney with the IRS. In May 2008, OPR commenced a proceeding by filing a complaint against respondent for violating 31 CFR § 10.51(a) by committing the above described offenses. Respondent submitted an answer in which he denied most of the substantive allegations and appeared pro se in an administrative hearing. The Administrative Law Judge did not permit respondent to call any witnesses or introduce exhibits because he did not notify the other party by the designated date of his intention to do so. He was permitted to testify in narrative form, and he submitted a brief.

During the proceeding, respondent claimed that he had filed his federal returns for all of the years at issue, although conceding that some returns were late; all his returns were accurate and all taxes owed were paid; the OPR proceeding was initiated by referral from an IRS agent in a contentious case in which respondent had zealously represented a client; and his late filings were attributable to personal demands involving care for his ailing parents.

The attorney did not appear in the New York reciprocal proceeding. (Mike Frisch)

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Ooooh… the First Department does another dirty. This time they impose reciprocal discipline based upon a Massachusetts decision. But the Massachusetts decision was itself a reciprocal discipline decision based upon the decision of an administrative body barring practice before that body by an employee. The First Department’s reciprocal discipline rule only applies to discipline imposed in “another state, territory or district.” 22 NYCRR 603.3(a). So the First Department could not have imposed reciprocal discipline of the attorney based on the administrative body’s decision. And the attorney did not commit misconduct in Massachusetts. Amazing what a court can get away with when it has before it an uncontested case.


Posted by: Stephen Williams | Jun 4, 2012 10:38:55 AM

I think it is a bit of a laugh. A tax attorney commits tax offenses. Quite the irony.

Posted by: Anne Roberts | Jun 4, 2012 1:10:03 PM

Tax Offense by a Tax Attorney- I seriously feel that he is the only person in the earth who can escape this case. The only reason being, he knows all the loop holes.

Posted by: sridhar | Jun 4, 2012 10:12:08 PM

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