USA Lowers the Boom on NY Tax Attorney

     MANHATTAN (CN) - A longtime New York tax attorney promoted "at least 90 unlawful tax schemes" that cheated the United States of $130 million, and netted him more than $5 million in fees, federal prosecutors claim in court.
     The United States sued Harold Levine, "who has served as head of the tax practice groups at both the New York City offices of Herrick, Feinstein LLP ... and Moritt Hock & Hamroff," prosecutors say in the 63-page lawsuit.
     Neither law office is a party to the complaint. Levine is the only defendant. He got his law degree from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in 1983, but the complaint does not state his age or hometown.
     The government claims that Levine "has promoted, implemented and/or participated in at least 90 unlawful tax schemes designed to cheat the government out of hundreds of millions of dollars in tax liability."
     Among his schemes, prosecutors say, "Levine, operating with other known tax-shelter promoters, used companies with phony losses on their books to shield millions of dollars of income by other companies disposing of their assets. In an attempt to disguise the illegitimacy of these transactions, Levine knowingly told lies or caused the corporations involved in these unlawful transaction to tell lies," the complaint states.
     Levine also is accused of concealing the illegal schemes by structuring transactions to evade IRS rules, and failing to tell the IRS about the transactions.
     "As a result of Levine's illegal tax schemes, the IRS has made or will make federal tax assessments totaling approximately $130 million, not including penalties or interest, virtually all of which may be uncollectible," the government claims. "At the expense of the IRS, Levine profited handsomely, acquiring over $5 million in fees for his role in these unlawful transactions."
     Uncle Sam seeks production of documents, penalties and an injunction.