WASHINGTON – A federal court in San Diego has permanently barred a tax lawyer and his law firm from providing tax advice and from preparing federal tax returns for others, the Justice Department announced today. The civil injunction order against Scott A. Waage, of San Diego, was signed by Judge William Q. Hayes of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. Waage agreed to the injunction without admitting the allegations against him.
The government complaint in the case alleged that Waage, a self-proclaimed “visionary tax attorney,” promoted tax fraud schemes that helped customers evade income taxes through a concept he called “Strategic Integrated Planning.” According to the complaint, one of Waage’s schemes involved creating and using sham consulting corporations (purportedly headquartered in customers’ homes) that did not perform consulting services. Customers funneled funds to the sham companies to pay for and improperly deduct the customers’ personal expenses, the complaint alleged.
Waage also unlawfully used employee-benefit plans to pay customers’ personal expenses and used pension plans to illegally increase and accelerate deductions and avoid income taxes on plan payouts (illegally structured and funded by life insurance contracts), according to the allegations in the complaint. Robert O. Jensen, a certified public accountant, allegedly prepared the customers’ tax returns claiming the bogus deductions generated by Waage’s schemes. Last March the court enjoined Jensen from preparing tax returns that understate income.
The government complaint alleges that the harm to the Treasury as a result of Waage’s schemes exceeded $10.8 million.
The injunction order requires Waage to give the government a list of all clients who used his tax planning or tax preparation services since 2001. Waage also must send his former clients notice of the injunction order.