Major Cases

Government Accusation

Results

Accusation

Government indicted successful Lake Michigan Marina Owner on four counts of income tax evasion with a maximum potential sentence of 20 years and hefty fines. Location: Marquette, Michigan (U.S. v. Matteson).

Result

Not guilty all counts.  No prison time. 

Accusation

1,300 airline pilots were accused of tax evasion and filing fraudulent returns.  Five pilots were chosen to represent the entire group in trial, called Test Case Petitioners.  The pilots faced possible criminal prosecution and bankruptcy, and tax debts which most would never be able to discharge or pay off in their lifetimes, leaving the debt to their estates. Their credit and reputations were destroyed.  The two leading lawyers for the IRS, Sims and McWade, were given bonuses for their outstanding work in prosecuting the pilots.  Jurisdiction: Hawaii, Washington, DC, Oregon, Arizona, Tax Court, California.  The Tax Court ordered over a billion dollars in taxes and penalties. (Dixon v. Commissioner of the IRS; Arkansas Bar v. Sims, Oregon v. McWade, IRS Director of Practice v. Sims and McWade).

Result

Minns was hired to handle the appeal. The IRS was found guilty of fraudulent conduct by the ninth circuit court of appeals.  The pilots received hundreds of millions in refunds and an additional judgment against the government. The two lawyers for the IRS (Sims and McWade) were suspended indefinitely by the IRS director of practice. To date, these are the only two IRS lawyers suspended and disbarred for work done for the IRS in US history.  This is also the largest test case petitioner reversal in US history.  The pilots were exonerated.

Accusation

A successful antiques investor, also inventor of an American crossbow weapon and a blow gun device, was charged with three counts of filing false tax returns with gross proceeds alleged to be missing. He was facing a total of 15 years in prison. The factory that built his inventions would close down without him, and he was the sole source of support for his elderly mother and mentally disadvantaged brother. Jurisdiction: Utah. (U.S. v. Hanson).

Result

Not guilty all counts. No time in prison.

Accusation

In what the IRS called the largest prosecution case in the history of the agency, a minister and his wife were charged with 64 felonies and faced the possibility of 180 combined years in prison. Their car and home had been seized by the government. Raids were conducted in three countries and a dozen states simultaneously, using over 10% of the special agents employed by IRS. Of an original defense list of ten defendants, all ten were convicted and sentenced. Before Minns got involved, both the minister and his wife had previously lost their cases and were sentenced to long prison terms. Jurisdiction: Seattle, WA and Costa Rica. (U.S. v. James and Pamela Moran).

Result

The conviction against the Minister and his wife was reversed and a new trial ordered.  Michael Minns was appointed by the Federal court to represent the defense in a second trial.  The Morans were found not guilty on all 64 counts, the largest number of offshore acquittals in a single trial for a single family. They spent no time in prison, and their home and car were returned to them.

Accusation

The CEO of a public tech company was accused of both income tax evasion and failing to file. He faced six years in federal prison, hefty fines, and the destruction of the company. Jurisdiction: Dallas, TX. (U.S. v. Squires).

Result

Not guilty on both charges. No time in prison. Stock value of company at present has tripled.

Accusation

A construction supervisor and successful restaurateur, born on a Native American reservation in Washington in a one bedroom home with eight brothers and sisters, was accused of filing false returns and false offers in compromise with the IRS. He faced 8 felony counts and 32 years in prison; his wife faced 4 felony counts and 12 years in prison. Jurisdiction: Phoenix, AZ, Belize, and Oklahoma. (U.S. v. Parker Part One, U.S. v. Parker Part Two).

Result

Not guilty on all eight counts for husband. All charges dismissed against wife.

Accusation

A father and son tax preparation team were accused of 30 felonies and faced 94 years in prison. They were charged with conspiracy and filing false tax returns for clients. Jurisdiction: Dallas, TX. (U.S. v. Buford).

Result

Not guilty on all counts. No time in prison.