Walter Anderson is a name that’ll mean a lot to some, and probably nothing to most others. However, this man was crucial in the biggest tax evasion case in U.S. history.By the end of this article, you’ll understand why this name has a tremendous meaning to many, albeit not for the right reasons.
Walter Anderson is a reasonably regular man born in 1953. He failed several colleges and eventually began a career in telecommunications as a salesman.
In the 1980s he ventured into entrepreneurship and invested heavily in several telecom companies. He sold most of these for massive profits and bankrolled many early private space ventures.
He became famous when he pumped millions into the Russian space station Mir in the 1990s in a failed attempt to turn it into a tourist destination.
However, he became more famous for his tax evasion schemes. The gist of his endeavors is he attempted to hide a vast portion of his earnings in a labyrinth of offshore shell companies and accounts that the IRS never managed to bring to light completely.
2005 was the year when the biggest case of tax evasion in history started. The Justice Department filed a lawsuit against Walter Anderson for hiding his income as business income in the British Virgin Islands and Panama.
It was reported that he earned half a billion dollars which he never filed for taxes.
He was promptly arrested and went to trial in 2006 in a case for which he pleaded not guilty. He eventually admitted to hiding $365 million of income during the ’90s. He got a fine of $400 million and a nine-year prison sentence.
Later, he kept stating that he was not guilty. But, the horrible conditions in D.C. jail made him plead guilty to escape that ‘barbaric’ place.
Whatever the case may be, he served two and a half years in federal prison and spent the remaining of his sentence under house arrest.
What’s most interesting about his case is the fact that he ended paying less than he initially had to, only because of a clerical error.
A federal district judge determined that Walter Anderson didn’t have to pay $100 to $175 million of his $400 million fine due to a typographical error in his plea agreement that was written by someone in the government.
In the end, we can’t say for sure how the whole ordeal ended for Anderson. When his sentence was over, he never repented and never gave up on claiming his innocence.
He ventured into cloud computing and claims that the sentence he got bankrupted him, but the extensive network of offshore shell companies and bank accounts that are not uncovered entirely would suggest otherwise.
In the end, it’s anyone’s guess whether Anderson has nothing, or he still has vast riches hidden away somewhere.
For more stories on famous tax evasion schemes and cases, visit our blog. We also have other articles that could prove helpful in your effort to understand the tax system better.