Article: Accountant Ducks Prison For $17M Stock Scheme, Tax Fraud

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Accountant Ducks Prison For $17M Stock Scheme, Tax Fraud

Bill Wichert, 23 February 2021

An accountant avoided a prison sentence Tuesday for his roles in a stock market manipulation scheme that reaped more than $17 million in illicit profits and a related tax fraud scheme, with a New Jersey federal judge citing his extensive cooperation with prosecutors against the securities trader who orchestrated the crimes.

About two months after handing out an 18-month prison term to that mastermind, U.S. District Judge John Michael Vazquez sentenced the 43-year-old Shaun Greenwald to three years of probation, including eight months of home detention with location monitoring, following his 2018 guilty plea to conspiracy charges.

The judge noted during a Zoom hearing that Greenwald provided the government with details about both schemes as well as critical evidence that trader Joseph Taub acted with the requisite intent. Taub pled guilty to securities fraud and conspiracy to defraud the United States.

Intent is frequently “the difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion,” and in a securities fraud scheme, “when you’re dealing with sophisticated parties, it’s an area where negligence or even recklessness or even knowing behavior can be a complete defense, because you have to prove a specific intent to defraud,” Judge Vazquez said.

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