Criminal Justice

Indictment alleges tax lawyer kept $6.5M in client funds after claiming he used it to pay IRS debt

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money vanishing into a computer

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A lawyer in Oakland County, Michigan, has been charged with tax evasion for alleging wiring $6.5 million in client money to his Swiss bank account without paying taxes on the embezzled funds.

Tax lawyer, Jeffrey Freeman of Birmingham, Michigan, was charged in a July 7 indictment, Click on Detroit reports. He pleaded not guilty at his July 11 arraignment, according to a minute entry on the Pacer court filing system.

The indictment alleges that Freeman was hired by the owner of a business that sold cosmetic products. The woman, identified as “A.V.” in the indictment, hired Freeman to represent her after she learned of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service.

The client wired $15 million to an attorney trust account to resolve her tax liability. Freeman used it to pay the IRS $8.4 million on the woman’s behalf. The money covered her tax liability but not penalties and interest, which were eventually written off by the IRS.

Freeman allegedly told the woman he sent about $6.5 million to the IRS to pay the woman’s penalties and interest, but he actually wired the money to his own Swiss bank account, the indictment says.

The indictment claims Freeman didn’t report the $6.5 million as income and evaded paying more than $2.7 million in taxes on it.

The client was identified as Ashley Vann in the March 2021 lawsuit she filed against Freeman. She sold a skin-care product called Dermal Tone through a Las Vegas-based company. Deadline Detroit had coverage.

Vann’s suit says she discovered Freeman’s alleged wrongdoing in June 2019 when her bank sought documents on the IRS transactions.

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