An attorney from Montville and her partner pleaded guilty Thursday to structuring client funds through attorney accounts to avoid obligatory reporting to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Approximately $354,000 was structured, according to U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman.
Goldie Sommer, 61, and her legal partner, Edward Englehart, 61, of Rockaway, both attorneys of the Fairfield firm of Sommer and Englehart, could face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine each. They pleaded guilty in Newark federal court Thursday after surrendering to IRS agents in Newark on November 16, 2011.
According to a press release sent by Fishman's office, Englehart and Sommer made deposits that totaled $354,000 between August 13, 2010 and September 22, 2010. None of the deposits were made in amounts larger than $10,000, which Fishman said would have triggered Currency Transaction Reports (CTRs) to alert the IRS.
"CTR forms require the disclosure of the identity of the individual who conducted the transaction and the individual or organization for whom the transaction was completed," Fishman said. "Many individuals involved in illegal activities, such as narcotics traffiking, tax evasion and money laundering are aware of these reporting requirements and take active steps to cause financial institutions to fail to file CTRs in order to avoid detection of the movement of large amounts of U.S. currency."
Special agents of the IRS Criminal Investigation Division, under Acting Special Agent Shantelle Kitchen, assisted with the investigation.