The DOJ just announced that an Atlanta federal jury has found Jack Fisher and James Sinnott  guilty for their roles in what the IRS has dubbed one of the “worst tax scams.” The duo was convicted of conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, aiding and assisting the filing of false tax returns, and subscribing to false tax returns for a scheme involving syndicated conservation easements.

According to evidence presented at trial, Fisher and Sinnot sold over $1.3 billion in fraudulent syndicated conservation easement tax shelters to their high-income clients.  The IRS has recently proposed regulations for syndicated conservation easements after noticing how charitable tax breaks were being exploited by wealthy investors. Congress initially established this charitable tax break to encourage the preservation of open land for wildlife and the like.  Instead, the evidence showed that Fisher and Jack marketed the tax break as a scheme to their clients, which encouraged them to acquire an interest in land so they could claim charitable contribution tax deductions. Fisher and Sinnot were found to have inflated the fair market value of donations by using inflated appraisals of the conservation easements.

Evidence also showed that Fisher and Jack caused fraudulent documents to be presented to the IRS in an attempt to conceal their scheme. The false documents, including backdated false and inflated tax deductions, resulted in the defendants receiving more than $41 million in payments. Amongst other evidence, Fisher’s accountant testified to the foregoing after previously pleading guilty for his role in this scheme. 

Fisher and Sinnot used the millions they made to purchase lavish items including a private jet and homes in the Caribbean Island of Bonaire. They now face decades in prison and forfeiture of several items. In addition to the charges outlined above, Fisher was also convicted of money laundering.

The attorneys at Chilivis Grubman represent clients of all types and sizes in connection to tax fraud investigations and white collar crimes. If you need assistance with such a matter, please contact us today.