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Adviser Pleads Guilty to Tax Evasion

ST. LOUIS (CN) - A much-sued tax adviser pleaded guilty Thursday to federal tax evasion.

Frank L. "Tiger" Zerjav Jr., 39, of Wildwood, Mo., pleaded guilty to four counts of tax evasion from 2001 to 2004, prosecutors said.

He and his father, Frank L. Zerjav Sr., were principals in two entities: Zerjav & Company, a full service accounting firm, and the Advisory Group USA, which offered tax planning and asset protection strategies.

Zerjav admitted that he funneled his income into several S-corporations and failed to include that income on his tax returns.

Income from an S-corporation flows through to the owner for inclusion on the owner's personal income tax return, providing an incentive to maximize deductions on the S-corporation return, the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement.

Zerjav admitted that many of the expenses claimed on the S-corporations tax returns were personal and should not have been deducted. Some of the payments were for a condominium at the Lake of the Ozarks, a boat, two Sea-Doo watercrafts and a home entertainment system.

Prosecutors said Zerjav evaded $183,000 in taxes over the four years, though he and the government did not agree on the exact amount of unpaid taxes.

Zerjav faces up to 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each charge. His sentencing is scheduled for March 26, 2013.

Twenty-one people, companies or government entities have filed lawsuits against the Zerjavs since 2008, according to the Courthouse News database.

In March 2010, the Zerjavs and the Advisory Group entities entered into an agreement with the United States which included the following stipulations: the Advisory Group would cease doing business; Frank Zerjav Jr. would not be involved in tax preparation activities for a three-year period; and Zerjav & Company would cease using certain tax strategies.

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