Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Minnesota attorney charged with employment tax and false return crimes

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A federal grand jury in St. Paul returned an indictment today charging a Hennepin County attorney with employment tax violations and aiding the filing of false individual income tax returns.

According to the indictment, from 2016 through 2019, Kassius Orlando Benson owned and operated a law practice, at times known as Kassius Benson Law, P.A. or Office of Kassius O. Benson, P.A. The indictment alleges that Benson did not file the required Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Returns (Forms 941) for his law practice or pay over to the IRS the employment taxes withheld from his employees’ wages.

The indictment further alleges that, for 2017 through 2019, Benson knowingly aided in the preparation of his own false individual income tax returns (Forms 1040) by claiming that his law practice withheld federal income taxes from his wages and had paid those withholdings over to the IRS. According to the indictment, as owner and sole shareholder of his law practice, Benson allegedly knew his law practice had not paid over to the IRS any of the federal income taxes he claimed had been withheld from his wages.

Benson is charged with fourteen counts of failing to account for and pay over employment taxes, in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7202, and three counts of aiding the preparation of a false tax return, in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7206(2). If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison for each employment tax offense and three years in prison for each false tax return offense. 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 is investigating the case.

Assistant Chief Matthew J. Kluge of the Justice Department’s Tax Division is prosecuting the case.

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