“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” – Benjamin Franklin
Hundreds of thousands of US citizens around the world are scrambling to comply with rules many did not know applied to them, putting themselves on the IRS’s radar and risking the loss of life savings, retirement funds, and their children’s education funds just to avoid being made into criminals.
Others, feeling that the costs of coming into the light are simply too great, are hoping that, by some miracle, the US won’t find them. Untold numbers of people are losing sleep and feeling the effects of sustained stress as they wait to find out if policies designed to catch drug lords and money launderers might nab them in the same widely-cast net.
But at least the IRS has managed to catch one intentional tax-dodger, thanks to FBAR! Jeffrey Chatfield was found guilty earlier this year of hiding assets in bank accounts in Switzerland and the Bahamas. Chatfield has been sentenced to three years probation and ordered to pay nearly $100K in fines.
And if the livelihoods of millions of hard working, law abiding expats had to be sacrificed to catch him, so be it.
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Tax Division John A. DiCicco commended the investigative efforts of the IRS-Criminal Investigation agents who investigated the case, and Tax Division trial attorney Timothy J. Stockwell, who is prosecuting the case.