A divorce is a decision to dissolve a marriage. Marriage is a legal partnership. The decision to dissolve it can be quite complicated, especially if the marriage is of long standing duration. If the parties have been married for a long time, they might have accumulated many assets over time. Over the course of being married, both partners have often trusted each other with deeply secret information such as the exact details of their joint financial arrangements. Such secrets are considered protected information under law. Wives and husbands cannot be compelled to testify against each other. However, in the aftermath of a divorce, the parties are no longer considered married. As such, each member of the previous marriage is no longer entitled to certain legal protections. If one party broke any kind of laws while married, these actions have the potential to create serious legal issues for their former spouse.
Fraud is a legal term with many meanings. One of the most common forms of fraud is tax fraud. Tax fraud is a team meaning the person deliberately and knowingly set out to deceive the government and avoid paying taxes owed. A person may have acted on their own or may be involved in a larger effort as part of a conspiracy to commit tax fraud. Any kind of allegation of tax fraud is investigated by Internal Revenue Service. The IRS works with the United States Attorney’s Office in the area where the person lives or has a business.
There are many types of tax fraud. Most types are what are known under the law as tax evasion. This is when a business owner or a private individual deliberately misrepresents their taxable income on the tax returns they file. The aim is to either pay less than owed or to avoid paying any taxes. A person may have more than one job. They might report the income from their primary job on their tax returns while failing to report income from a secondary side gig. Another person simply choose not to file any tax returns and avoid paying the money they owe. It is true that everyone tries to avoid paying more taxes than they owe. However, when there is obvious, deliberate intent, the government can choose to take action against the individual and anyone who is associated with that person.
Tax evasion is a federal felony. This kind of crime can face both civil and criminal prosecution. Individuals can face civil penalties up to a quarter of a million dollars. Corporations engaging in tax fraud can be fined up to half a million. A criminal conviction can lead to up to five years in jail. Guilty parties may also be asked to pay back the costs of the prosecution. A former spouse should keep in mind tax evasion tends to be a hard crime to prove. Taxes are very complicated. It’s very easy for an individual to make a mistake when doing taxes. The same is true for businesses.
As a divorce continues, the issue of financial arrangements are often a key component of any agreement between the two parties. If one party is being investigated for potential tax fraud, this can make the divorce agreement very complicated. One spouse may know crucial information that can be damaging to the defendant or helpful to the prosecuting attorney. This can make any divorce potentially deeply acrimonious. It can also put one member of the marriage at risk once the divorce is finalized.
Complications in Divorce Cases
One party may also be called upon to give testimony to the prosecutor if they think they are withholding evidence the government needs to prove cases of tax fraud. The other party may face a situation where their assets are frozen by the federal government even if they were not involved in the fraud. Under these circumstances, it is wise for both parties to have their own legal representation. Each party needs to make sure they do not face additional legal issues once the divorce is completed. A lawyer can help each party muster the best defense possible as the divorce process continues.
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Sometimes a divorce is relatively quick and fast matter. Both parties agree they are unable to remain married after a short time. In that case, they agree to get a fast divorce and move on. In many other instances, however, a divorce can be a complicated procedure. This is because the parties to the divorce have been married a long time. When people are married for a long time, they are often considered a single financial entity. The assets the parties have such as a house, car and a savings account are considered joint property. Many couples cannot purchase a property on their own. Instead, they need to take a mortgage. A mortgage is a legally binding document. All information on any mortgage application must be accurate. The parties to it sign document attesting to this fact. If the information on the mortgage application is not correct, there can be legal and financial penalties.
A divorce may be proceed in a civil manner. It can also be intensely acrimonious. Each partner may have certain lingering issues that have led to the breakup of the marriage and lingering feelings of anger. This can translate into accusations by one party against another. Of particular concern is the possibility of mortgage fraud. In many cases, the house is the largest join asset each party owns. However, in the event of a divorce, both parties may want to sell it. Another party may want to keep the house and ask the other person to buy them out. The house can also have existing issues such as being underwater on the mortgage. In that case, the mortgage on the house is greater than the value of the house.
Mortgage Fraud Accusations
It can be very temping for one party to the divorce to accuse the other of mortgage fraud. A spouse cannot be ordered to testify against another spouse when they are still married. However, if they get a divorce this provision no longer applies to either party. In that case, the divorced spouse is free to file a complaint against their ex. Doing so can create many issues for the accused.
Mortgage fraud is when someone makes inaccurate statements in order to obtain any kind of mortgage of any amount. There are many types of mortgage fraud. Mortgage laws are governed by complicated laws that vary from state to state. What is considered fraud in one part of the country may not be in another state.
However, there are certain types of common mortgage. A person may have created entirely false pay stubs indicating employment and income they do not have. A person may have also acted on behalf of a buyer who is not authorized to purchase the property. For example, a co-op board may have interviewed someone only to find another party is going to live in that apartment. This can also be considered money laundering if they reimbursed for their services. The buyer may have colluded with other parties in order to inflate the value of the property they’ve purchased. This can give them access to a larger mortgage than they might have otherwise had if the information was accurate and thus allow them to evade certain kinds of tax laws.
This kind of charge often goes hand in hand with other allegations. A local district attorney can charge the person with bank and wire fraud. This can lead to the potential for serious consequences for the accused. Mortgage fraud is not only a federal crime. It’s also a felony. A felony can carry long prison time as well heavy fines and the potential loss of a professional license. Mortgage fraud can also be prosecuted on the state level, leading to additional fines and the suspension of a legal or medical state license.
A spouse can use this allegation as leverage in a divorce proceeding. One spouse may threaten to go government officials unless the other spouse agrees to their divorce terms. They might ask the other party to accept a loss if the house is underwater on the mortgage or agree to more favorable childcare terms. An experienced lawyer is essential in order to ensure proper legal protections.
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