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Case Number: 2:21-cr-20209
Judge: Linda V. Parker
Court: United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan (Wayne County)
Plaintiff's Attorney: United States Attorney’s Office in Detroit
Description: Detroit, Michigan criminal defense lawyer represented the Defendant charged with evasion of income taxes and obstructing the IRS.
Ryan Richmond, of Bloomfield, owned and operated the marijuana dispensary Relief Choices, LLC in Warren, Michigan. From 2011 through at least 2014, Richmond had Relief Choices pay its operating expenses extensively in cash, and routed customer credit card payments through an unrelated third-party bank account to conceal his true business gross receipts. In 2015 and 2016, Richmond obstructed the IRS by misleading investigators – and particularly an IRS auditor examining his individual income taxes – about his knowledge of, role in and profits derived from his Relief Choices operation. Richmond caused a tax loss to the IRS of more than $1.15 million.
Richmond is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 13 and faces a statutory maximum penalty of five years in prison for each count of tax evasion, three years in prison for obstructing the IRS and one year in prison for the willful failure to file a tax return count. He also faces a period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division made the announcement.
IRS Criminal Investigation investigated the case.
Trial Attorneys Mark McDonald and Christopher P. O’Donnell of the Tax Division are prosecuting the case.
CORRUPT OR FORCIBLE INTERFERENCE, violation of 26 U.S.C. 7212
"(a) Corrupt or forcible interference
Whoever corruptly or by force or threats of force (including any threatening letter or communication) endeavors to intimidate or impede any officer or employee of the United States acting in an official capacity under this title, or in any other way corruptly or by force or threats of force (including any threatening letter or communication) obstructs or impedes, or endeavors to obstruct or impede, the due administration of this title, shall, upon conviction thereof, be fined not more than $5,000, or imprisoned not more than 3 years, or both, except that if the offense is committed only by threats of force, the person convicted thereof shall be fined not more than $3,000, or imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both. The term “threats of force”, as used in this subsection, means threats of bodily harm to the officer or employee of the United States or to a member of his family."
ATTEMPT TO EVADE OR DEFEAT TAX in violation of 26 U.S.C. 7201, which provides:
"Any person who willfully attempts in any manner to evade or defeat any tax imposed by this title or the payment thereof shall, in addition to other penalties provided by law, be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $100,000 ($500,000 in the case of a corporation), or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both, together with the costs of prosecution."
WILLFUL FAILURE TO FILE RETURN/INFORMATION, ETC. om violation 26 U.S.C. 7203, which provides:
"Any person required under this title to pay any estimated tax or tax, or required by this title or by regulations made under authority thereof to make a return, keep any records, or supply any information, who willfully fails to pay such estimated tax or tax, make such return, keep such records, or supply such information, at the time or times required by law or regulations, shall, in addition to other penalties provided by law, be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $25,000 ($100,000 in the case of a corporation), or imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both, together with the costs of prosecution. In the case of any person with respect to whom there is a failure to pay any estimated tax, this section shall not apply to such person with respect to such failure if there is no addition to tax under section 6654 or 6655 with respect to such failure. In the case of a willful violation of any provision of section 6050I, the first sentence of this section shall be applied by substituting “felony” for “misdemeanor” and “5 years” for “1 year”."
Outcome: Defendant elected to plead guilty.