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Chicago lawyer found guilty in tax shelter scheme

  Tax  -   POSTED: 2010/06/04 10:53

A Chicago lawyer was found guilty Wednesday of conspiracy to commit tax fraud in connection with the sale of tax shelters.

A New York jury also convicted John Ohle III, 42, of two counts of tax evasion for failing to report about $6.5 million in income in 2001 and 2002, the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan said Thursday. A fellow lawyer, William Bradley of Hammond, La., also was convicted in the conspiracy scheme.

The guilty verdicts are a big victory for New York federal prosecutors who have investigated a web of Chicago lawyers, bankers and accountants who helped hundreds of wealthy clients skirt taxes through the sale of questionable tax shelters starting in the 1990s. Last year, seven people, including the former chief executive of BDO Seidman, a Chicago-based accounting firm, were charged with fraud and conspiracy related to the sale of allegedly fraudulent tax shelters.

One of the shelters was known as "Hedge Option Monetization of Economic Remainder" or "HOMER." The U.S. attorney's office said Ohle sold HOMER to clients of Bank One, where he was employed from November 1999 to early 2002. Ohle continued selling the shelter after leaving the bank and forming his own company, Chicago-based Dumaine Group LLC.

Prosecutors had alleged that Ohle and Bradley conspired with others to create fraudulent invoices to obtain referral fees on transactions involving HOMER. Ohle illegally collected more than $800,000, prosecutors said.


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