United State v. Elsass, No. 13-4358 (6th Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Elsass and his companies, FRG, and STS, were charged with violations of the Tax Code, including claiming theft-loss deductions for losses that did not involve criminal conduct, claiming those deductions before it was clear that there was no reasonable prospect of recovery, falsely characterizing theft losses as losses incurred in a trade or business to artificially inflate refunds, claiming theft-loss deductions to which taxpayers were not entitled because the losses were incurred by deceased relatives, negotiating customers’ tax-refund checks and depositing them into defendants’ bank accounts, falsely indicating that Elsass was an attorney in good standing, making deceptive statements to customers that substantially interfered with the administration of the tax laws, promoting an abusive tax shelter through false or fraudulent statements about the tax benefits of participation, and aiding and abetting the understatement of tax liability. The district court held that there was no genuine issue as to whether Elsass and FRG had engaged in each of these prohibited practices and enjoined them from serving as tax-return preparers. While it granted summary judgment to STS with respect to all claims except on, because STS is wholly owned by Elsass, it enjoined STS to the same extent as Elsass and FRG. The Sixth Circuit affirmed.