NY business owner is indicted by the government for tax crimes.
Ehrenfriede Kauapirura, a New York-based dietician, has been indicted by the New York grand jury for a string of tax related crimes. Kauapriura, who is a Brooklyn native, spent years allegedly both defrauding and subsequently committing tax evasion, avoiding the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) altogether.
The alleged crime spree began in 2015 when Kauapirura reported filed enough false tax withholdings to earn herself $250,000 in refunds. She then repeated the same falsification in 2016, earning herself another quarter-of-a million dollars. Doing so two years in a row was likely a red flag for the agency and suspicious enough for agents to begin to build a case against her. Kauapirura then began avoiding the agency as it started to attempt collection.
The dietician transferred money from her personal bank account to a trust account of which she is in control in an attempt to hide her income. Kauapirura then submitted a counterfeit $1 million check drawn onto a phony bank as a means to pay off her obligations to the IRS. Perhaps more brazen, she allegedly hasn’t tied to file individual tax returns in the three-year span between 2017 and 2020.
The IRS is still investigating the case. However, Kauapirura faces up to a decade behind bars for all charges uncovered so far.
During the pandemic, efforts to defraud the government involving income and tax evasion have increased. After the Presidential Administration stepped in to help those struggling with reduced hours and lost paychecks, fraudsters also began to take advantage of the “free money,” submitting false claims of unemployment and then refusing to pay taxes on the funds they received.
In June of this year, the Department of Justice announced that it would be pursuing charges against 19 defendants for allegedly defrauding the government, receiving funds from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program and/or the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, totally over $24 million.
Deliberate tax evasion and falsified filings are nothing new in the U.S. In fact, this is one of the most common seemingly victimless felonious crimes. Kauapirura’s $500,00 is nothing compared to the billions stolen by a powerful executive like Robert T. Brockman. The billionaire business executive and former CEO of Reynolds & Reynolds, who passed in August of this year, allegedly defrauded the government for years.
David L. Anderson, the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of California, said of the amount Brockman owed at the time of his death the “allegation of a $2 billion tax fraud is the largest ever tax charge against an individual” in the U.S.
Prosecutors said the billionaire used his “ill-gotten gains” to buy a 100-acre Colorado fishing retreat, a private jet and a 200-foot yacht, among other luxury items. The government was pursing its case against Brockman when the billionaire passed away. It is unclear how the proceedings against his estate will continue.
In general, the Treasury Department reports that the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans fail to pay as much as $163 billion in owed taxes per year.