The simple answer is – Don’t mess with tax fraud! It could literally cost you everything. Below are some examples of six infamous people who thought they could fool the IRS and get away with tax fraud, but they learned the hard way that they were wrong.

Beanie Baby creator, Ty Warner, accused of Tax Evasion Last September, the Chicago-based billionaire who created Beanie Babies stuffed animals, Ty Warner, pleaded guilty to Felony Tax Evasion. Warner had failed to report income he had obtained from a secret offshore bank account he held with UBS, which he had opened in 1996 in Zurich, Switzerland. At the time of his felony indictment, Warner was ranked 209th in Forbes Magazine’s Richest Americans.

She almost got away with the with the biggest tax fraud in Oregon’s history Krystle Marie Reyes, a 25-year-old from Salem, Oregon, earned $15,000 per year working as caregiver. After receiving a whopping $2.1 million tax refund based on her fraudulent state tax return, Reyes pleaded guilty to theft and she was incarcerated soon thereafter. The case pointed to glaring problems inside the Oregon Department of Revenue.

The biggest tax scheme in history Last November, Chicago lawyer and Certified Public Accountant Paul Daugerdas was convicted of State Tax Fraud, Conspiring to Defraud the IRS, Tax Evasion, and Mail Wire Fraud that caused more than $7 billion in fake tax losses in a scheme that spanned more than 10 years. Daugerdas, a 63-year-old from Willmette, Illinois, marketed fraudulent “tax shelters” to America’s wealthiest individuals. As a result of this scheme, Daugerdas faces up to 58 years in prison.

Willie Nelson IRS Tapes How to Get Away with Tax Fraud
Image source: wikimedia.org

He is “The Poster Boy of Tax Evasion” says CNN In 1990, American country music singer-songwriter Willie Nelson was charged with $32 million in tax fraud and his assets were seized. After Nelson’s attorney negotiated a tax resolution settlement, he made an album called The IRS Tapes: Who’ll Buy My Memories and went out on the road. With the help of album sales, and the restitution he earned from suing his accountant Price-Waterhouse, Nelson eventually made enough money to pay back the IRS.

“Queen of Tax Fraud” in Tampa Short of turning yourself into the IRS, the best way for someone committing tax fraud to guarantee getting caught is to post tax crimes on Facebook and brag about your boyfriend’s fancy car. That is what Tampa woman, Rashia Wilson did. Wilson was sentenced to 21 years behind bars for stealing money from taxpayers through stolen identity tax refund fraud. Her boyfriend, Maurice Larry, who gained notoriety from covering a Camaro in chrome and showing it off, was sentenced to 14-1/2 years in federal prison.

America’s Most Notorious Tax Evader and Mafia Boss He was notorious for a life of crime, but in the end the IRS was the only agency that was powerful enough to take down Al Capone. On October 18, 1931, Capone was charged and sentenced to eleven years in Federal Prison on various tax evasion charges. Furthermore, his brother Ralph “Bottles” Capone, Jake “Greasy Thumb” Guzik, Frank Nitti, and other mob gangsters were also investigated and charged for tax evasion. Capone was fined $50,000 and charged $7,692 for court fees, plus he had to pay all back taxes. He was released after serving seven years and paying the IRS his back taxes.

If you find yourself owing back taxes, don’t let the problem grow into a legal nightmare. Contact a US Tax Shield professional tax resolution attorney and gain a better understanding of your rights and your options.