Tax and Securities Fraud Whistleblower Lawyer Interviewed by Bloomberg BNA
Tax and securities fraud whistleblower lawyer Matt Stock was interviewed by Bloomberg BNA for an article titled “Look at Four Tax Cases to Watch in 2018.” The article discusses the DOJ’s appeal of Whistleblower 21276-13W v. Commissioner, a U.S. Tax Court decision holding that criminal fines and civil forfeitures are deemed “collected proceeds” when calculating a whistleblower award.
Background of IRS Whistleblower Award Claim
In Whistleblower 21276-13W v. Commissioner, a husband and wife’s tip about tax evasion led to the government’s recovery of more than $74 million, which included $20 million in tax restitution and $54 million in criminal fines and civil forfeitures. Under the IRS Whistleblower Program, the husband and wife were eligible to receive an award of 15% to 30% of the “collected proceeds” that resulted from their tip. The IRS agreed to issue an award of 24% of the recovery to the husband and wife, but argued that the $54 million in criminal fines and civil forfeitures was not “collected proceeds” as defined under the statute and should not be included when calculating the award. By excluding the criminal fines and civil forfeitures, the IRS reduced the whistleblowers’ award from nearly $18 million to $4.8 million.
U.S. Tax Court Decision
The Tax Court held that “the phrase ‘collected proceeds’ is sweeping in scope” and should include criminal fines and civil forfeitures when calculating a whistleblower award. This decision increased the whistleblowers’ award by $13 million. The government has appealed this decision. The case is currently pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. circuit.
In “Look at Four Tax Cases to Watch in 2018,” Stock highlights the importance of the Tax Court’s decision and the outcome of the appeal. The article quotes Stock’s analysis:
‘‘The case from an importance standpoint is very big in terms of the amount of money whistleblowers are able to get from an award,’’ Matthew Stock, a certified public accountant and attorney at Zuckerman Law in Washington, told Bloomberg Tax. ‘‘The statute was created to incentivize tips on large-scale tax evasion or from a tax underpayment. A broader scope incentivizes people to come forward with large scale tax fraud.’’
Top-Rated Whistleblower Lawyers
We have assembled a team of leading whistleblower lawyers to provide top-notch representation to SEC whistleblowers. Recently Washingtonian magazine named two of our attorneys top whistleblower lawyers. U.S. News and Best Lawyers® have named Zuckerman Law a Tier 1 firm in Litigation – Labor and Employment in the Washington DC.
- Matt Stock is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Fraud Examiner and former KPMG external auditor. As an auditor, Mr. Stock developed an expertise in financial statement analysis, internal controls testing and fraud recognition, and he uses his auditing experience to help whistleblowersinvestigate and disclose complex financial frauds to the government and obtain damages for retaliation. He is lead author of SEC Whistleblower Program: Tips from SEC Whistleblower Attorneys to Maximize an SEC Whistleblower Award.
- Both Bachman and Zuckerman served in senior positions at the Office of Special Counsel, where they oversaw investigations of whistleblower retaliation claims and whistleblower disclosures, and enforced the Whistleblower Protection Act.
- Eric Bachman has substantial experience litigating precedent-setting employment cases. His wins include a $100 million settlement in a disparate impact Title VII class action and a $16 million class action settlement against a major grocery chain. Having served as Special Litigation Counsel in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice and as lead or co-counsel in numerous jury trials, Bachman is ready to go the distance to obtain the relief that you deserve.
- Jason Zuckerman was recognized by Washingtonian magazine as a “Top Whistleblower Lawyer” in 2017, 2015, 2009, and 2007 selected by his peers to be included in The Best Lawyers in America® in the category of employment law (2011-2017), and selected by his peers to be listed in SuperLawyers(2012 and 2015-2017) in the category of labor and employment law. is rated 10 out of 10 by Avvo, based largely on client reviews, and rated AV Preeminent® by Martindale-Hubbell based on peer reviews.
- Bachman and Zuckerman served on the Department of Labor’s Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee, which makes recommendations to the Secretary of Labor to improve OSHA’s administration of federal whistleblower protections.
- The firm has published extensively on whistleblower rights and protections, and regularly speaks nationwide at seminars and continuing legal education conferences. We blog about new developments in whistleblower law at the Whistleblower Protection Blog.