Every United States citizen is required to properly file his or her income tax returns by April 15th of each year. While the vast majority of citizens follow their duty and file their taxes on time and with honesty, there are some people who try to get away with tax fraud. Sometimes, the individuals who commit tax fraud are those who are in high authority positions; people you would never anticipate would try to bypass the laws that they are hired to uphold.
Recently, a DC Metropolitan police officer was convicted of tax fraud, following a trial that took a total of five days. The news was released by the Department of Justice, who made the announcement in the form of a press release for all to see.
Failing to Properly File His Income Tax Returns
According to officials, a man named Ishmeal Heru-Bey, who was formerly known as Jamal Adams, has been convicted of corruptly attempting to obstruct the IRS. The man is a resident of Glenarden, Maryland.
Heru-Bey failed to file his individual tax returns by the appropriate deadline between the years 2005 and 2012. He has also been charged with submitting three false W4 IRS forms and claiming falsely that he was exempt from withholdings for his income taxes.
In March of 2015, Heru-Bey was indicted on these tax charges, as he had filed false tax returns for the 2011 and 2014 years.
He had also claimed deductions that were connected to unreimbursed expenses as an employee, such as vehicle mileage, dry cleaning, meals, and uniforms. But officials stated that he wasn’t supposed to claim these expenses because he had been on paid leave from the police department when those claims were made.
There was also evidence that proved the total tax loss from 2005 to 2011, as well as for 2014, was more than $90,000.
Officials have stated the Heru-Bey has been scheduled for sentencing on January 7, 2016. If convicted, he potentially faces a maximum sentence of a $250,000 fine and a total of three years in jail.
These consequences come as no surprise to those who are familiar with the repercussions of tax fraud. If Heru-Bey had simply paid his taxes appropriately and filed his deductions honestly, he could have avoided all of these problems and he would be able to continue working as a police officer in the DC area.
A court battle for a major inheritance left by the late Terrence Kunky has seen organizations PAWS and SOCKS join forces. In a court motion that was filed in September this year, attorney Jill Crew, who represents both the Panhandle Animal Welfare Society and Save Our Cats and Kittens accuses family members left out of Kunky’s will of both fraud and gross malfeasance, specifically his daughter Kimberly Huggins.
The lawsuit accuses attorney Richard Sherrill, representing the Kunky children, of being complicit with the family in an attempt to defraud both PAWS and SOCKS. According to PAWS Executive Director Dee Thompson, the inheritance in question totals over $400,000.
According to court papers, Kunky, 81, of Fort Walton Beach, died on August 20, 2014. The legal document states that the will named beneficiaries PAWS, SOCKS and Covenant Hospice. It goes on to state that the will also expressly disinherited Kunky’s two daughters, Ms. Kelli Lee Brown and Ms. Kimberly Huggins, as well as his stepchildren. The motion alleges that Kunky was suffering from dementia at the time of writing, and was therefore not competent to create a will.
The court motion said that Huggins, by and through Richard Sherrill, should not be allowed to profit from her fraudulent actions, malfeasance, and material misrepresentations, all of which have been designed to defraud both PAWS and SOCKS of the specific bequest.
Along with Kunky’s primary physician, the attorney who drew up his will rejected the notion of the deceased suffering from dementia, according to the court motion.
Intentional Breach of Agreement
In July, the family were pressured by the attorneys of PAWS and SOCKS to agree to turn over two U.S. Savings Bonds which were willed to the two animal welfare organizations, according to the court motion. However, the motion states that as of September the transaction had not yet been completed.
As Kunky’s personal representative, Huggins, along with Sherrill, the attorney, then further attempted to exclude PAWS and SOCKS as beneficiaries in court documents, the motion states. According to the court document, they entered into an agreement to distribute the Savings Bonds to PAWS and SOCKS with the intention of failing or breaching their agreement to distribute the said funds to the Treasury.
When approached, Sherrill declined to comment on the allegations made against him, stating that he was not at liberty to comment in the middle of a case which was very sensitive and ongoing.
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Oregon Death With Dignity Act
Oregon’s Death With Dignity Act is as close as the United States has gotten to legal euthanasia. In 1997, the state made it legal for “terminally-ill Oregonians to end their lives through the voluntary self-administration of lethal medications, expressly prescribed by a physician for that purpose,” according to the Oregon state government website.
Roe v. Wade law
Even though Roe v. Wade was settled in 1973, much controversy surrounds the legality of abortion and the woman’s right to choose. Despite protests, terrorist threats and action, and other campaigns, abortion is legal in the United States, though the processes, time frames and rules for minors vary by state.
EC in the ER laws
EC in the ER stands for Emergency Contraception for Sexual Assault Victims in the Emergency Room. Several states like California, Massachusetts, Illinois, New York, New Mexico and Washington require emergency room staff to provide victims of sexual assault with information about emergency contraception that can prevent unwanted pregnancies.
Medical Marijuana Laws
Many groups feel that interfering with an individual’s right to eat, drink or otherwise consume whatever he or she wants is unconstitutional. The medical marijuana controversy takes the issue to the next level, arguing that patients deserve to access medicine or other substances that help them lead a more comfortable life. Medical marijuana is legal in states like California, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, and Alaska.
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Occupational Safety and Health Act
The Occupational Safety and Health Act was passed in 1970 to “assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women,” as stated in the legislation. Working conditions that are considered harmful include exposure to toxic chemicals, unsanitary work spaces, too-loud noises, dangerous machinery or exposure to extreme heat and cold. If an employee tries to exercise his or her rights under the protection of the act, an employer cannot become discriminatory towards that employee or fire the employee. Through the Occupational Safety and Health Act, employees are also protected by 16 statues, including The Clean Air Act, The Solid Waste Disposal Act, The Safe Drinking Water Act, and others.
Family and Children
Parent-custody laws and protecting children against predators online are major issues right now. This group discusses them both.
Parent-child custody laws
Child custody laws vary by state, and citizens need to understand the policies enforced by institutions like Child Protective Services, as well as the state government. If the state declares a parent unfit, the government can take custody of the child, without getting approval from the parent. For more information on your state’s statues regarding child welfare, adoption, child abuse and child neglect, visit this page.
Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act
This legislation, enacted in 2006, is designed “protect children from sexual exploitation and violent crime, to prevent child abuse and child pornography, to promote Internet safety, and to honor the memory of Adam Walsh and other child crime victims,” as stated in the act. Adam Walsh, the son of America’s Most Wanted‘s John Walsh, was kidnapped and murdered when he was seven years old. The act also organized a database of child molesters and child predators to increase the protection and security of children.