WASHINGTON (AP) -- Hundreds of Internal Revenue Service investigators have raided several suspected promoters of tax-evasion schemes in what the agency calls its most extensive crackdown ever.
Federal prosecutors said six people in New Jersey, Washington state, California and Costa Rica were charged in a conspiracy to launder $470,000 through an illegal offshore trust program also used by clients to avoid paying U.S. taxes.
"By targeting this corrupt organization, we are sending a strong message that law enforcement views such activities as very serious criminal conduct and will devote the necessary resources to prosecute such crime," said U.S. Attorney Donald K. Stern of Boston.
The IRS, which has stepped up pursuit of promoters who used foreign banks and trusts to help people hide their income, sent 300 of its 2,700 criminal tax investigators to make the arrests and conduct more than three dozen searches last week.
Those arrested were affiliated with Anderson's Ark, a company that sells what the agency calls sham trusts for tax evaders. Two men were charged with tax evasion and money laundering; the others were charged as accessories.
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