6th Circuit Holds Excessive Restitution Cannot Be Reduced thus Denying IRS Authority to Reduce Excessive Restitution-Based Assessment
United States v. Asker (6th Cir. No. 21-1643 5/11/23) (Nonpublished) (CA6 here and GS here), the court held that where the restitution for tax loss ordered by the sentencing court for tax crimes was allegedly higher than the actual tax due, the district court had no authority to reduce the amount. At sentencing, there was confusion among the players as to the actual tax loss for restitution purposes.* In trying to determine the amount in the confusion, the court has this Q&A with counsel:
During sentencing, however, the court asked what would happen if it were later determined he owed less than $2.5 million in taxes:
Court: You don’t anticipate that what is owed will be more than 2.5?
Government: It is hard to say at this point. It is going to depend—
Court: What if it is? Do you anticipate that 2.5 precludes your client from paying back the rest?
Asker’s Counsel: I wouldn’t think that if it comes out—I would not think that this Court’s restitution award would be conclusive on the IRS. In fact, if there was some civil basis to seek additional penalties or interests, the IRS could do that.
I suppose if it turns out the number is less, we may probably come back and apply to the Court for some relief from the restitution amount.
Government: That is correct, Your Honor.
Court: I just—my concern is that if it turns out to be more, I think that is owed.
Asker’s Counsel: Yes, Ma’am. We don’t disagree with that.
The sentencing court assessed $2.5 million in restitution.
Swedish criminal gangs using fake Spotify streams to launder money. (Given Spotify's tiny payouts, this actually seems like a very slow way to launder money...)