Former U.S. Attorney for Nevada Pleads Guilty to Tax Evasion
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Summary: Former U.S. Attorney for the District of Nevada pleads guilty to tax evasion.
Lawrence Semenza, former U.S. attorney for Nevada, pleaded guilty this week to tax evasion. According to court documents he had failed to file returns from 2006 to 2010. As part of his plea deal, he has agreed to pay about $290,000 in restitution to the IRS. Daniel G. Bogden, the current U.S. Attorney for the District of Nevada said in a statement.
Bogden said, "Regardless of one's occupation title or position, everyone is responsible for filing and paying taxes on all of their income … It is important that American taxpayers understand and feel confident that everyone is playing by the same rules in filing and paying their taxes."
Semenza pleaded guilty on Thursday before U.S. District Judge James C. Mahan to three misdemeanor counts of willful failure in filing tax returns. According to court documents, Semenza operated his law practice in Las Vegas as a subchapter C personal service corporation.
From 2006 to 2010, he had individual taxable income of about $655,000 and his corporation was liable for taxable income of approximately $345,000. Semenza, however, neglected to file either individual or corporate income tax returns for the recession years. He ended up owing the IRS about $290,000 in tax dues.
Semenza is scheduled to be sentenced in December. The maximum penalty for each count to which he pleaded guilty is one year in prison and up to $100,000 in fine. The prosecutors in the matter were Assistant U.S. Attorneys Eric Johnson and Nicholas D. Dickinson.
Semenza was U.S. Attorney for the District of Nevada from 1975 to 1977. Before that he worked in the U.S. Attorney's office for four years. The Las Vegas Review Journal reported that while in office Semenza had prosecuted brothel owner Joe Conforte in a matter involving failure to pay employee payroll taxes.
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