RealTime IT News

Disbarred Lawyer on DoJ's Watch

The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) asked a South Carolina federal court Thursday to stop a disbarred attorney from selling alleged tax-fraud schemes over the Internet.

According to the DoJ, Robert Clarkson, who has twice been convicted of federal tax-related crimes, uses the Internet to sell materials containing instructions and tactics to help customers illegally evade federal taxes.

The complaint also seeks a court order requiring Clarkson to provide the government with his customers' names, mailing and e-mail addresses, and telephone and Social Security numbers.

"Any plan purporting to eliminate your obligations under the tax laws is a scam," Eileen J. O'Connor, assistant attorney general for the DoJ's Tax Division, said in a statement.

Operating under the "Patriot Network," Clarkson allegedly sells through a Web site he operates several how-to guides on illegally evading federal taxes, charging $55 to $300 per guide.

One guide, the "Un-taxing Packet," allegedly contains form letters to government officials that Clarkson claims can be used to remove any tax liability.

The DoJ also claims Clarkson uses his Web site to advise his customers to obstruct IRS investigations.

The civil injunction is part of an effort by the government to stop the promotion of tax scams and the preparation and filing of false and fraudulent returns.

The DoJ has obtained injunctions against more than 100 promoters and tax preparers since 2001.