1st Cir. Confirms That in Life, Taxes Are Certain

By Gabriella Khorasanee, JD on January 13, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Do you know what limn means? Neither did I -- give me a break, it's been a few years since I studied for the SATs. In the absence of a great legal lesson from the First Circuit in recent days, instead, I just learned my word of the day.

In United States v. Floyd and United States v. Dion, two defendants, Catherine Floyd and William Scott Dion were tried together in a case involving tax fraud. Though the defendants raised five issues on appeal, the court basically showed us its hand when in the intro paragraph of the decision they stated that the defendants were "ably represented."

If that's not a spoiler alert, I don't know what is.

The Tax Fraud Schemes

Floyd and Dion orchestrated two tax evasion schemes with the result of defrauding the Government of tax revenues. The first was through the evasion of payroll taxes, and the second was through secret "warehouse banking" services. As a result, the two were charged with conspiracy to defraud the Government of payroll taxes, conspiracy to defraud the Government of income taxes, and each were charged with one count of endeavoring to obstruct and impede the IRS.

The court went through each of the arguments, and found them without merit. One-by-one, the arguments were discarded with the First Circuit employing a laundry list of words and phrases that one would never want used to describe their claims: "nothing but empty rhetoric," "revisionist history," "would require us to wear blinders," "viewing evidence through rose-colored glasses," and of course "pipe dream." That pretty much sums up the legal analysis in this case.

Though the First Circuit's analysis of the claims touched on many facts, there were no major legal takeaways from this case. If anything, the First Circuit merely emphasized (and quoted) Benjamin Franklin's truism that "[i]n this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes."

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