Closeup Of US Currency, TFP File Photo

Florida Attorney Pleads Guilty To $10 Million ‘Ultimate Tax Plan’ Scheme

Closeup Of US Currency, TFP File Photo
Closeup Of US Currency, TFP File Photo

A Florida attorney pleaded guilty Friday to conspiracy to defraud the United States and tax evasion arising out of his promotion of an illegal tax shelter scheme involving false charitable deductions.

According to court documents, from at least 2013 through 2021, Michael L. Meyer, of Davie, organized and sold the Ultimate Tax Plan, an illegal tax shelter designed to assist high-income individuals in reducing their taxes.

Meyer marketed the scheme as a way for clients to reduce their taxes by claiming deductions for charitable donations that he knew were fraudulent.

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He prepared boilerplate transaction paperwork for his clients which made it appear that they had donated valuable property to charities Meyer controlled. In fact, the clients retained complete control over the donated assets.

According to the Department of Justice, Meyer illegally advised that clients could access their donated assets for their own personal use through tax-free loans and execute an “exit strategy” to buy back their donations at a significantly discounted rate. In some instances, Meyer backdated documents so that clients could claim these purported donations on their prior years’ tax returns.  

In April 2018, the Justice Department filed a civil suit against Meyer seeking to enjoin him from continuing to promote the Ultimate Tax Plan. As part of that litigation, the department issued civil subpoenas to Meyer’s clients requesting records related to the Ultimate Tax Plan.

In response, Meyer created false, backdated documents and directed clients to submit them to the Justice Department. Meyer also provided false, backdated documents in response to document demands he directly received from the Justice Department. In April 2019, a federal district court permanently enjoined him from organizing, promoting, marketing or selling the Ultimate Tax Plan. 

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Meyer earned more than $10 million from selling the Ultimate Tax Plan. He used that income to purchase a multimillion-dollar estate and a luxury vehicle collection that included Lamborghinis, Rolls Royces, Mercedes Benzes, a Bentley and a Ferrari.

A sentencing date has not been set yet. Meyer faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison for each charge. He also faces a period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

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