UH Tax Fraud Class

University of Houston Law Center

Larry Campagna
Chamberlain, Hrdlicka, etc.
Tel: 713-654-9609
Jack Townsend
Townsend & Jones, L.L.P.
Tel: 713-521-9977

Summary of Course

This course deals with tax crimes and some of their companion crimes.   The class will cover the following subjects:

  • traditional tax crimes (evasion, subscribing a false return, etc.) and their frequent companions (e.g., conspiracy, obstruction, etc.);
  • similar ground for the recent initiatives designed to curb drug and organized crime activity, including cash reporting requirements and money laundering crimes, although this will not be a principal focus of the class;
  • the issues, defenses and strategies that normally attend such criminal initiatives;
  • the Government’s various initiatives to discover and combat criminal behavior in this context, including IRS investigations, task force investigations, grand jury investigations and various other methods employed by the Government.

Key Materials for Class

Students are directed to a page on Professor Townsend’s Federal Tax Crimes Blog titled UH Tax Fraud and Money Laundering Class Page, here.  That will be the central location with information about the class and will contain links for errata and update materials that students should review for the class.  The schedule for the class, with assignments from the book and student preparation, is further down the current page.  The schedule may be adjusted from time to time, so be sure and check the schedule at least once a week.

The book for this class is Townsend, Campagna, Johnson & Schumacher, Tax Crimes (Lexis-Nexis 2015).  The assigned book is the 2015 edition which will not be formally published until sometime later, probably March 2015.    Students should not acquire the 2008 edition.  Students should email Professor Townsend (jack@tjtaxlaw.com) for the first few chapters of the 2015 edition in pdf format.  The 2015 edition of book will be published about mid-year and will be available in the book store.  Students will be expected to buy the book at that time, for chapters after that will not be provided gratis.

Student Information

Information – Introductory Information for the Class.  Please note that this document says that it is for 2013, but it is being used for 2015 as well.

Student Questionnaire – Each student should email to jack@tjtaxlaw.com the following information (please note that the email will be used for normal class communications; the other contact information will be used rarely if at all to get information to you such as cancellation of the class on short notice)..

Cell phone number:
preferred email address for class communications.
Current employer:
Work phone number:
Degree program (JD / LLM):
If LLM, where did you get your JD degree:
Personal Goals for Class:
Prior work experience (after college, such as law, CPA, accounting:

Spring 2015 Course Schedule

(Class time is 5:30 – 7:10 pm)

Assignments for Spring 2015 Classes   (Please note that the assignments are approximate and may vary as we move through the materials).  Please note that updates will be posted on the web site and sent to the members of the class by email.

Class 1
Introduction to Class
Ch. 1 Overview of the Criminal Tax System,

Class 2
Ch. 2A Crimes Under the Internal Revenue Code – Tax Evasion

Class 3
Ch. 2B Crimes under the Internal Revenue Code – Other Offenses
Ingredient Technology p. 83- Adepoju, Anziani, Dyer, French
U.S. v. Kelly p. 95 – French, Heard, Hiran, Johnson
U.S. v. Kassouf p. 98 – Lucas, Martens, Neely, Seabolt
U.S. v. Evangelista p. 107 – Sule, Syed, Tavakkoli
Class 4
Ch. 3 Crimes Outside the Internal Revenue Code
Case Assignments:
United States v. Krasovich (p.131) – Adepoju, Anziani, Dyer, French, Sule, Syed, Tavakkoli, Campbell
United State v. Caldwell (p. 140) – French, Heard, Hiran, Johnson, Lucas, Martens, Neely, Seabolt
Class 5
Ch. 4 Methods of Proof (whole chapter – already circulated)
Case Assignments:
United States v. Tarwater (p. 173) – Adepoju, Anziani
Holland v. United States (p. 179) – Dyer French
Taglianetti v. United States (p. 184) – Sule, syed
United States v. Esser (p. 187) – Tavakkoli, Campblell
United States v. Black (p. 192) – Heard, Hiran
United States v. Pree (p. 195), United States v. Sabino (p. 197); & United States v. Bishop (p. 197)
– Johnson, Luca
United States v. Tarwater (p. 199) – Martens, Neely Seabolt
United States v. Silkman (p. 205) – Unassigned (All read)
Ch. 5 Prosecution Policies and Affirmative Defenses (whole chapter – will be forwarded on 2/18/15)
Sansone (p. 219 of preliminary page proof) – All Class Members
Class 6
Ch. 6 Investigation and Development of Criminal Tax Cases (48 pages)
Case Assignment:
Tenzer (p. 270) – Adepoju, Anziani, Dyer, Lucas, Martens, Neely, Seabolt
Class 7
Ch. 7 Government Information Gathering (43 page)
Lefkowitz (p. 300) – French, Heard, Hiran, Johnson, Sule, Syed, Tavakkoli [carried over from last week)
Ch. 8 Pre-Trial Issues in Criminal Cases (34 pages)
Brady (p. 337) – Lucas, Martens, Neely, Seabolt, French, Heard, Hiran, Johnson,
Rodriguez (p. 342) –  Sule, Syed, Tavakkoli, Adepoju, Anziani, Dyer,
Class 8
Chs. 7 & 8 Conclude with discussion of Problems from the Chapters.
Ch. 9 Trial and Post-Trial
Case Assignments:
Johnson (p. ___) – Lucas, Martens, Neely, Seabolt, French, Heard, Hiran, Johnson,
Evangelista (p. ___) – Sule, Syed, Tavakkoli, Adepoju, Anziani, Dyer,
Class 9
Ch. 10 Sentencing in Tax Cases
Case Assignments:
Mistretta (p. 409) – Lucas, Martens, Neely, Seabolt,
Booker (p. 413) – French, Heard, Hiran, Johnson,
Harvey (p. 424) – Adepoju, Anziani, Dyer, Sule, Syed, Tavakkoli,
Class 10
Ch. 11 Ethical Issues in Criminal Tax Practice
Case Assignments
United States v. Locascio (p. 449) – French, Heard, Hiran, Johnson,
Paratechnologies Trust v. Commissioner (p. 454) – Adepoju, Anziani, Dyer, Sule, Syed, Tavakkoli,
Lefcourt v. United States (p. 459) – Lucas, Martens, Neely, Seabolt,
Class 11
Ch. 12 Major Collateral Issues
Ch. 13 Civil Tax Considerations
Class 12
Ch. 14 Putting It All Together
Class 13
Examination Review
Class 14  No Class

Past Examinations.  For viewing or download.

 Miscellaneous Notes to Students

  • Study hard.

Excerpts from Examinations: Students Say the Darndest Things

These are some excerpts from students’ answers to the 1997 examination. The students are anonymous to me in the grading process, so I don’t know who gave these answers.

  • In response to question regarding options after T has committed numerous potential offenses in question 1: “Well he can always flee the country to another without an extradition treaty with the US, but I wouldn’t recommend it (especially since the IRS could just abduct him back).”
  • In response to question invoking a voluntary disclosure response: “I would recommend that Mr. Jones pay the back taxes in a voluntary disclosure & pray that the IRS does not prosecute.” (JAT Note: I personally believe that prayer is good for the soul, but do not include that as a strategy in this course.)
  • In response to avoiding producing the confidential diary containing the code to his drug dealing proceeds (question 3), one student wrote:

I think the practical solution is this: Jones should burn his original diary. The IRS doesn’t know of its existence and Jones sure as hell isn’t gonna tell them about it. So he should be able to avoid obstruction charges (provided his psychiatrist is the only other party who knows of the diary’s existence.) Then when the IRS asks the Dr. for his copy of correspondence from Jones, the psychiatrist can rightly refuse, citing the client-patient privilege. I really think this should hold up. The privilege is legit, and the papers were obtained by the doctor in the course of treatment for treatment purposes. Although it may border on the unethical, I think the client’s neck, in this instance, demands disposal of the original. (Of course, the atty-client privilege may be waived here under the crime-fraud rule if the advice is “obstruct-justice.” But if the initial meeting and discussion were generally enough phrased, I think the professional responsibility teachers would agree with me.”

JAT Comments: Some things do not require comment, but this answer does suggest that we spend a bit more time on ethics and illegal conduct on the part of the practitioner.