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Tax crime and punishment during the coronavirus pandemic

| Apr 27, 2020 | Tax Law

The coronavirus is shutting down businesses throughout the country. Health care experts are recommending precautions to help curb the spread of the disease. One recommendation: social distancing.

This safety measure is not always possible, especially for those who are serving prison sentences. It is next to impossible to stay six feet away from people while incarcerated, let alone use separate washroom facilities and take other recommended precautions.

How can those who are facing prison sentences deal with this problem? For some, a request for a modification or to postpone the sentence may be an option.

One example: Former Mayor Pugh may be able to modify her sentence

Former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh pleaded guilty to tax evasion and federal conspiracy as well as conspiracy to defraud the government in November 2019. In February, the court sentenced her to three years imprisonment and $412,000 in restitution payments as well as required forfeiture of $669,688 in funds.

The courts currently expect Former Mayor Pugh to report on April 27 to begin her sentence. She has filed a motion with the court to delay the start date because the coronavirus has made it difficult to address state law charges. Due to the virus, courts have needed to reschedule her hearings.

Former Mayor Pugh is not the only one to have a modification due to the coronavirus. Michael Cohen, the former attorney for President Trump who was also convicted of tax evasion, has received approval for early release due to an unsafe prison environment. Mr. Cohen was serving his time in a New York facility that had multiple inmates and staff members test positive for the environment.

Application for others: Modifications may be available

Those who are facing prison sentences or currently serving time for a tax crime may be able to receive a modification of their sentence.