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Law and Legal News


Original editor for Send2Press: Christopher L. Simmons

IRS Victimizes Victims Of Scam, Claims Law Offices Of Robert Kenny

NEW YORK, NY - April 13, 2004 /Send2Press Newswire/ -- The only thing that happened to John Marretta that was worse than being swindled out of hundreds of thousands of dollars is what he suffered at the hands of his own government. In this season of publicized IRS prosecutions billed as "deterrents," The Law Offices of Robert Kenny, PLLC revealed today that one the most celebrated of these past deterrent investigations may well have run amuck.

If a pending U.S. Tax Court decision decides an overzealous IRS investigation is responsible for extorting additional millions of dollars from the victims of a "pyramid" scam, it will undoubtedly mark the biggest debacle in the history of IRS examinations.

These victims had already lost their entire $67 million investment to the perpetrators of the scheme, in what was, at the time, the biggest pyramid scam in New Jersey history.

In the view of some professionals, a fatal legal misinterpretation in the initial investigation went undiscovered and unchecked by layers of bureaucratic review, including the IRS's own tax law experts.

And the worst part is the unjustified taxes and penalties may never be returned. And if the past is any indication, no apology will be forthcoming from the IRS. Furthermore, no mechanism exists to sanction the government employees who engineered this runaway investigation.

"We hope this will put an end to ten years of misguided IRS harassment and intimidation," said Robert Kenny, the Princeton, New Jersey attorney who represented Marretta. "The investors were further victimized by government employees who robotically approved these cases with a fairly obvious defect. This operated to defeat the checks and balances that are supposed to exist in the system to prevent defective cases such as these from being prosecuted."

"I'm sure of the defect. Simply put, if a swindler gives you some of your money back, in order to trick you into thinking the company's earning an income and to induce other investors to enter the scheme, that's not income to you, you're just getting your own money back. I've consulted with any number of my colleagues including former IRS professionals, but the most convincing evidence is the government's conduct at trial in Manhattan last fall. They backpedaled furiously from the dividend accusation they had been making for nearly a decade."

"The problem now is the statute of limitations has run on getting these people refunds of the IRS's mistake. The only redress I can offer is that what the IRS did here, in my view, amounts to a fraudulent misrepresentation under state law. So, this would entitle those who paid penalties to at least claim a theft loss for the amount of the penalties in the year the fraud was discovered - 2004."

The Law Offices Of Robert Kenny, Esq., CPA, Attorney At Law, A Professional Limited Liability Company, are located at 212 Carnegie Center, Suite 206, Princeton, New Jersey 08540-6236. Phone: (609) 844-7604.

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