Landmark Tax Group

N.J. Attorney Failed to Pay Payroll Taxes

On March 11, 2014, in Trenton, New Jersey, Lee Gottesman, of Toms River, New Jersey, was sentenced to six months in prison, six months of home confinement, three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $27,384 representing taxes owed from 2006 to the present. Gottesman, an attorney, previously pleaded guilty to an indictment charging him with one count of federal income tax evasion and one count of failing to pay payroll taxes for the employees of his law firm. According to court documents, Gottesman operated a law firm in Toms River. In 2002, the IRS filed a levy on Gottesman’s assets because of unpaid taxes. Gottesman then opened a sub-account, within his attorney trust account, in the name of his wife. His wife had never been a legal client of his. Gottesman ran nearly all of his personal and business expenses through the account, closing all other business and personal accounts in his name. His payments from the account included more than $90,000 in mortgage payments for his home; more than $17,000 in household expenses, including maintenance on his pool, landscaping services and construction costs; and thousands of dollars in other personal expenses, such as life insurance premiums, auto body repair work and personal credit card payments. The scheme allowed Gottesman to avoid paying personal income taxes on the hidden income. Gottesman also withheld payroll and other taxes from his employees’ pay, but never filed the required forms or turned the withheld payments over to the IRS. Gottesman specifically admitted he did not pay all his personal income taxes owed for 2006 or payroll taxes for 2009. (Source: IRS.gov)

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