Monday, August 19, 2019
Peter J. Reilly (Forbes), Law Degree Held Against Defendant In Tax Scam:
Anthony Charles Dwight Box was at what I consider the end of the line in tax litigation — appealing his sentence from prison — when he heard from the Eleventh Circuit last month. It was not good news. The Circuit Court approved the 36 month sentence handed down by Judge Federico Moreno of the Southern District of Florida.
Judge Moreno had made an upward adjustment from the 24 to 30-month sentence called for by the guidelines because Mr. Box's legal education should have made him know better, a conviction in 1989 and failure to make any restitution.
Although, the discussion of the sentence has some interest, what I really find intriguing is the crime that he pled guilty to. He stole nearly a million dollars from the United States with a phony tax return. It is totally ridiculous that the transparent scheme worked well enough to get a check issued to him. He should have gotten a nasty warning and some sort of frivolity penalty. Instead, his back taxes were wiped and he received a check for over $700,000, much of which was squandered. All this followed with a stay in a federal facility. ...
There was an interesting comment by Judge Moreno when he heard that the defense attorney would be proposing a downward adjustment based on Mr. Box's advanced age (57). The attorney offered that there are statistics that show recidivism declines with age. Judge Moreno expressed skepticism about the applicability of the statistics to white-collar crime and threw in an interesting observation about gender. ...
Given all the abuse they get with all those lawyer jokes, you would think they would stick together more, but that is not what happened here. Mr. Box's legal education was held against him. He should have known better. His sentence six months over the guideline and a year more than what the government asked for was upheld on appeal.