رابرت براکمن بزرگترین فرار مالیاتی تاریخ آمریکا را رقم زد

دادستان‌های فدرال آمریکا در یک نشست خبری اعلام کردند که «رابرت براکمن» که مالک یک شرکت نرم‌افزاری بزرگ در ایالت تگزاس است مرتکب ۲ میلیارد دلار فرار مالیاتی شده است که این رقم بزرگترین فرار مالیاتی تاریخ آمریکا به شمار می‌رود.

بر اساس اظهارات دادستان‌های فدرال آمریکا، رابرت براکمن طی دو دهه اخیر از طریق شبکه‌ای از شرکت‌ها و بنیادهای خیریه خانوادگی بخشی از درآمدهای مشمول مالیات خود را پنهان کرده است و مجموعاً حدود ۲ میلیارد دلاری فرار مالیاتی داشته است.

رابرت براکمن علاوه بر فرار مالیاتی به جرایم دیگری از جمله پولشویی و از بین بردن شواهد جرم نیز متهم شده است.

Billionaire Robert Brockman charged in $2bn tax evasion case

The US Department of Justice has charged Robert Brockman, the Houston software billionaire, with tax evasion for allegedly hiding $2bn from the government in what prosecutors called the biggest case ever against an American citizen. The justice department also confirmed on Thursday that Robert Smith, the Vista Equity Partners founder, would pay $140m for concealing income offshore over 15 years as part of a non-prosecution agreement. Jim Lee, the head of the Internal Revenue Service’s criminal tax agency, called the alleged conduct of the two men “brazen”, “intentional” and underlined by “greed”. “These allegations should disgust every American taxpayer,” said Mr Lee, the chief of the IRS’s Criminal Investigation unit based in Washington. Mr Brockman, 79, was the first investor in Mr Smith’s initial Vista fund in 2000, contributing all of the capital, some $300m, which helped to launch the private equity firm, according to the indictment. The Houston billionaire topped up his contributions to $1bn in 2004 and continued to invest in subsequent Vista funds. Prosecutors claimed the aim of Mr Brockman’s tax evasion conspiracy was to conceal income he earned from his Vista investments. He was alleged to have orchestrated a complex scheme from 1999 to 2019 to hide income offshore through entities in the names of nominees who appeared on registration documents but did not exercise real control. [Robert] Brockman has pled not guilty, and we look forward to defending him against these charges Kathryn Keneally, his attorney Mr Brockman is accused of building his own encrypted email system to direct those nominees. According to the indictment, he gave each a code word — among them “RedFish”, “King” and “Snapper” — while referring to the IRS as “the house”. The court documents do not name Mr Smith, instead referring to an “Individual Two” who was identified as the founder of Vista. The charges allege that he was given the code name “Steelhead” by Mr Brockman, but did not detail any broader involvement in the alleged scheme. The charges included claims that Mr Brockman had sought to destroy and tamper with evidence of his tax evasion efforts. Prosecutors alleged that in 2006 he had read a landmark US Senate report on tax evasion and began to take steps to hide his tracks. Through his encrypted email system, Mr Brockman in 2007 ordered one of his nominees to buy software called “Evidence Eliminator”, and the following year reminded the same person about the need to create convincing backdated documents, according to the indictment. “We need to also remember that all copy machine/laser printer paper has encoded into it the manufacturer of that paper as well as the year and month of manufacture. For that reason I always set aside some packets of copy paper with dates on them — for potential future use,” Mr Brockman told the nominee, the indictment alleged. Mr Brockman, who runs Reynolds and Reynolds, an automotive software company, was further accused of defrauding debt holders in the company by using his web of offshore entities to secretly buy its bonds despite restrictions on doing so. According to the indictment, Mr Brockman had made the trades while in possession of inside information about the company’s health. Kathryn Keneally, his attorney, said: “Mr Brockman has pled not guilty, and we look forward to defending him against these charges.” Reynolds and Reynolds said the allegations “focus on activities Robert Brockman engaged in outside of his professional responsibilities” with the company. “The company is not alleged to have engaged in any wrongdoing, and we are confident in the integrity and strength of our business,” Reynolds said. Mr Brockman will continue to serve as chief executive, according to the company. Mr Smith, 57, admitted using nominees to hide his control of foreign entities in Belize and Nevis as part of his settlement with the justice department, which allows him to avoid criminal charges. $139m Amount Robert Smith, Vista Equity Partners founder, has agreed to pay in taxes and penalties as part of his settlement deal He had failed to report more than $200m of partnership income, thereby evading more than $43m in federal income taxes, according to a statement of facts to which Mr Smith admitted as part of the settlement. The Vista Equity founder, who is the richest black American, has drawn praise for promising in 2019 to pay off the debt of a graduating class at historically black Morehouse College in Atlanta and built ties with Donald Trump’s administration. David Anderson, the San Francisco US attorney, said Mr Smith had used his untaxed income offshore to buy a vacation home in Sonoma, California, and to buy ski properties in the French Alps. The US attorney said Mr Smith had used a Houston lawyer to direct his offshore nominees. “Although Smith wilfully [and] knowingly violated the law, Smith has accepted responsibility and agreed to provide complete and truthful co-operation,” Mr Anderson said. Mr Smith had in 2014 approached the IRS to attempt to join a voluntary disclosure programme that provides leniency but was rebuffed, according to the settlement documents. The documents said Mr Smith had approached the IRS after his Swiss bank informed him that it intended to take part in a corporate leniency programme that would require the bank to disclose all its US-related accounts to the US government. After failing to join the IRS leniency programme, Mr Smith subsequently and “wilfully” filed false tax returns and false foreign bank account reports in 2014 and 2015, according to the statement of facts to which he agreed. The settlement includes a five-year non-prosecution agreement, payment of $139m in taxes and penalties, and the abandonment of an $182m protective refund claim. It also requires Mr Smith to co-operate with the US government. The protective refund claims arose in part from filings Mr Smith had made to IRS for refunds on charitable donations he made in 2018 and 2019, the justice department said. Mr Anderson denied that Mr Smith’s highly publicised charitable donations and connections with the Trump administration had played a part in the decision not to charge him with a crime. A spokesman for Mr Smith and Vista declined to comment.

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