Criminal Justice

Suspended LA Lawyer Gets 32 Months, Must Repay $41M, in Quellos Tax-Shelter Scheme


A suspended Los Angeles lawyer has been sentenced to 32 months in federal prison followed by two years of supervised release for participating, along with the CEO and an attorney-principal of Quellos Group in a tax-shelter scheme involving wealthy investors.

Sentenced Friday by a federal district court judge in western Washington state, Matthew Gale Krane, 56, must also return $17.9 million in fees to a wealthy former client, Haim Saban, who was unaware the scheme was illegal, and pay $23.1 million in back taxes, the Metropolitan News-Enterprise reports.

Krane pleaded guilty in 2009 to failing to report $36 million in income and providing false information on a passport application.

“The relatively meager sentence reflected Krane’s cooperation in a lengthy federal investigation into the scheme,” Kelly Phillips Erb writes at the Forbes blog Taxgirl.

The Saban family plans to donate the recovered money to charity, an Associated Press article notes.

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “2 Lawyers Charged in $400M Tax Shelter Prosecution of Former Quellos CEO”

ABAJournal.com: “Jailed Attorney Sues Billionaire Ex-Client, Seeking to Retain $36M Quellos Fee”

ABAJournal.com: “L.A. Lawyer Pleads in Quellos Case, Admits He Didn’t Pay Tax on $35M Offshore Account”

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