TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Friday, November 26, 2004

Tax Scammer's Clients Included Sandra Bullock

Sandrabullock A follow-up to Tuesday's post about the arrest of tax fraud promoter Jerome Schneider: the L.A. Times reports that among the names of clients on the list seaized by the IRS was Sandra Bullock, who paid Schneider $100,000 for tax advice about purchasing an offshore bank in the Cayman Islands:

Bullock's father, John, saw an advertisement promoting Schneider's tax shelter advice in an in-flight airline magazine in 1996. Intrigued, the Bullocks paid to have Schneider fly from Vancouver to New Orleans to meet [with Bullock's attorneys].... The gist of Schneider's claim was this: People could buy an offshore "shell" bank — one without any real depositors or business activity — and have it "owned" on paper by a foreign person or entity. The U.S. investor could then use the bank to accumulate investment income, without having to pay U.S. taxes on the money.

(Thanks to the Tax Guru for the tip.)

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I wonder what role was played by Bullock's attorneys at the meeting and whether they advised Sandra (whose movies I enjoy) to go along with the Tax Scammer's advice. Just think of all the prominent attorneys and law firms that represented Enron and so on that seemingly failed to put the brakes on tax schemes. Makes me think of the medical profession's adage and applying it to attorneys: "Attorney, heal thyself."

Posted by: Shag from Brookline | Nov 26, 2004 3:56:19 AM

Just remember, Willie Nelson worked for IRS for number of years because of these kind of tax shelter that doesn't pass the smell test.

Posted by: BigFire | Nov 30, 2004 11:24:16 AM