Two prominent Phoenix businessmen, with secret offshore bank accounts in Switzerland, have been convicted of tax fraud in federal court.
The Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service said Stephen Kerr and Michael Quiel were arrested on two counts of filing false individual income tax returns for 2007 and 2008. Kerr was also convicted of two counts of failing to file a report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts.
A third person is accused of helping the pair with their scheme. San Diego attorney Christopher Rusch pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the government and failing to file the Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts on Feb. 6.
Prosecutors said Kerr and Quiel, with the help of Rusch and Swiss nationals, concealed their ownership and control of stock and income deposited into the accounts.
Investigators said Kerr and Quiel had Rusch transfer money back to the U.S. through Rusch's Interest on Lawyer's Trust Account (IOLTA) before sending the money to the men. In one case, Rusch transferred approximately $2 million to Kerr so Kerr could buy a golf course in Erie, CO, according to investigators.
Kerr, Quiel and Rusch are all scheduled to be sentenced this summer.
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