Tax fraud charges are serious accusations that could result in a prison sentence, the end of your business, and the payment of restitution. A tax fraud charge may also require you to deal with powerful government agencies such as the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids sentenced a 52-year-old man in a tax fraud case on Nov. 21, according to court records. The sentence consisted of 14 years' incarceration followed by five years of supervised release. The court also ordered the man to pay the IRS over $80 million in restitution.

The defendant sold high-octane racing fuels that are exempt from federal excise taxes. Prosecutors allege that he did business under several names including eRaceFuels, Knoll Gas, and Torco Racing Fuels, which allowed him to file refund claims that were fraudulent. The scheme lasted for years and defrauded the government of over $110 million, according to prosecutors.

Court records also show that the defendant pleaded guilty to eight counts of filing false claims and a single count of bank fraud in July.

As this case shows, the penalties for tax fraud are severe and can complete change a person's life. Because of this, anyone who is facing charges of tax fraud or tax evasion will need to understand the complexities of the federal legal system, particularly for fraud cases. Speaking to an experienced white collar crimes attorney may be beneficial.

Source: Michigan Live, "Evan Knoll sentenced to 14 years in federal prison for tax fraud," Anthony Smigiel, Nov. 21, 2012