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Houston Attorney Tries to Outsmart the IRS and Loses

Jack Stephen Pursely, an attorney from Houston, TX, was convicted of three counts of tax evasion and one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States in September.

According to evidence shown during the trial, Pursely conspired with a former client to move more than $18 million the client had earned through his company, Southeastern Shipping.  The company’s business bank account was located on the Isle of Man, where the untaxed funds were transferred to the United States.  Pursely helped to conceal the transfer of funds from the IRS by disguising the transfers as stock purchases in United States corporations owned and controlled by Pursely and his client.

For his role in the conspiracy, Pursely received more than $4.8 million and a 25% ownership in his client’s business.  From 2009 to 2010, Pursely failed to report and pay income taxes owed on these payments by withdrawing the funds as purported non-taxable loans and returns of capital.  He used the money instead to purchase personal assets, including a vacation home in Vail, Colorado and property in Houston, Texas.

A sentencing date is scheduled for December 9th, where he faces a statutory maximum sentence of five years on the conspiracy count, and five years for each count of tax evasion, plus a period of supervised release, monetary penalties and restitution.

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