Largest Criminal Tax Case Settled

Telecom executive pleads guilty to record-breaking $200-million tax evasion scheme.
Stephen TaubSeptember 8, 2006

A telecommunications entrepreneur has pleaded guilty to what is being called the nation’s largest criminal tax case, according to the Associated Press. Walter Anderson pleaded guilty to two counts of tax evasion and one count of fraud stemming from charges that he evaded $200 million in federal and local taxes, according to the report.

Under the settlement deal, Anderson faces up to 10 years in prison, the wire service said. The telecom executive reportedly used offshore corporations and bank accounts to hide hundreds of millions of dollars in income from the IRS and Washington D.C. tax collectors during 1998 and 1999.

Anderson is accused of using offshore corporations to disguise his ownership in other telecommunications companies that earned more than $450 million between 1995 and 1999, noted AP. He also was accused of not filing federal income tax returns from 1987 to 1993. Andserson owes $170 million in federal taxes and $40 million in Washington income taxes.

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Government officials seized from Anderson’s apartment forged identification and manuals describing how to create fake identification and hide from authorities, said the wire service. They included “Poof! How to Disappear and Create a New Identity” and “The ID Forger: Homemade Birth Certificates and Other Documents Explained,” according to the AP, citing the documents. AP reported that Anderson had seven aliases.

Anderson invested in several telecommunication companies during the 1980s, inlcuding Mid Atlantic Telecom, Esprit Telecom Group, and Telco Communication Group, which were sold at huge gains, according to a 2005 article in The Washington Post.

Anderson is in federal custody awaiting trial, which is currently scheduled for January 2007, said the IRS.