Cozen O'Connor lawyer convicted in federal court of tax evasion, defrauding employer

By Jon Campisi | Sep 26, 2012

A Philadelphia attorney who specializes in real estate transactional law was convicted in federal court earlier this week in a tax evasion scheme and for defrauding his employer, the Philadelphia law firm of Cozen O’Connor.

Charles M. Naselsky, 52, was convicted of two counts of tax evasion, two counts of filing false tax returns, three counts of wire fraud and two counts of obstruction of justice, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Naselsky had instructed some of his legal clients to pay him directly for professional services, despite knowing that the compensation belonged to the law firm, and not to him personally, the prosecutor’s announcement states.

The defendant then hid that income from the IRS in an effort to avoid paying taxes on it; he also filed false income tax returns to reflect the scheme.

“When he became aware that he was being investigated by the IRS for tax offenses, he obstructed the investigation by fabricating evidence, including emails, that claimed the monies were loans from a company called U.S. Equity Investors LLC (USE),” the news release states.

In all, Naselsky failed to report $365,000 in income for the years 2005 and 2006, of which he would have owed about $112,000 in taxes, the announcement states.

Naselsky faces between 46 to 71 months in federal prison, plus restitution to the IRS and fines.

A sentencing hearing before U.S. District Judge Paul S. Diamond has not yet been scheduled.

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