by Linda Beale
Erwin Mayer is one of the attorneys at the former firm of Jenkins & Gilcrhist. The law firm, with accounting firms and financial institutions, helped wealthy clients evade tax “through deceit and trickery” (quoting the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York in its Oct. 19, 2010 press release about Erwin Mayer: Download Erwin Mayer Press Release). Mayer pled guilty to conspiracy and tax evasion “stemming from his work in the design, marketing, implementation, and defense of fraudulent tax shelters, which resulted in the generation of billions of dollars of fraudulent tax losses claimed by tax shelter clients.”
Mayer worked on tax shelterse at Jenkins & Gilchrist between 1996 and 2004, on shelters such as “short sales”, “short options strategy” and “swaps”. The Short Sale shelter was marketed to at least 290 wealthy individuals, generating at least $2.6 billion in tax losses. The law firm got a fee based on the tax loss generated for clients, and assisted with implementation at every stage of the shelter, providing a “more likely than not” opinion. But Mayer admitted that he knew the shelters had no reasonable possibility of a profit because the costs exceeded the (non-tax) profit potential. He’ll face a maximum sentence of 5 years on conspiracy and 5 years on tax evasion and will forfeit his two residences and various accounts, worth more than $10 million.
Too bad the Feds haven’t pursued the banksters that profited from their frauds on customers as aggressively. Wouldn’t we all–left-wingers and Tea Partiers alike–like to see the CEOs of Goldman Sachs and other investment banks suffer some real personal inconvenience and real financial losses out of the mess that they stuck on the rest of us with their securitization “get rich quick” schemes?