White-Collar Crime

Former Sullivan & Cromwell Partner Allegedly Failed to File Returns and Pay Tax on $10.8M in Income


A former mergers and acquisitions partner at Sullivan & Cromwell has been criminally charged for allegedly failing to file returns and pay federal tax on almost $10.8 million in income he earned at the firm between 2001 and 2008.

John O’Brien is accused of spending money he should have used to pay his tax on a vacation home, travel and a $3 million rare books business investment, reports the New York Law Journal.

The article says O’Brien owes more than $2.5 million in personal income tax and is expected to take a plea in the misdemeanor case. He was charged today in the Southern District of New York with two counts of willful failure to file income tax returns and two counts of willful failure to pay income tax.

His lawyer declined to comment.

Additional coverage:

Above the Law (Dec. 2009): “Why Did John O’Brien Leave Sullivan & Cromwell?”

DealBook (New York Times): “Sullivan & Cromwell Ex-Partner Pleads Guilty to Tax Evasion”

Wall Street Journal Law Blog: “Ex-Sullivan & Cromwell Lawyer Charged With Failing To Pay Taxes”

Updated at 4:03 p.m. to link to subsequent DealBook post.

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