Woody Creek couple uses pets and shell companies to buy mansions and scam IRS
A Woody Creek couple agreed to pay the IRS more than $800,000 in restitution after creating tax-avoidance schemes including naming their dog and cat as directors of a company called “Hyperpanel University.”
Hyperpanel, a Nevada business, was listed as the owner of a $1.2 million Woody Creek home actually owned by Mathew and Sandra Zuckerman. Another business owned the deed of their $1.8 million Tuluca Lake, Calif., mansion.
Sandra J. Zuckerman, 66, pleaded guilty Friday to a charge of willful failure to pay income taxes, according to a news release by U.S. Attorney John Walsh and IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Stephen Boyd.
Mathew Zuckerman, who will be sentenced in July, pleaded guilty to one count of tax evasion in February. His wife will be sentenced in September.
Between 1986 and 2009 the Zuckermans either didn’t file a tax return or falsified taxes, according to court records.
Starting in 1998, Mathew Zuckerman and an associate became equal partners in a business that took small companies public through reverse mergers of existing corporate shells. Over the next 10 years, he concealed his assets and business affairs through a number of other corporations and trusts.
In 2004, Mathew Zuckerman formed another Nevada company named Traya, Inc. to buy the California home. Sandra used her name from an earlier marriage, Sandra Eberli, while doing Treya-related business.
Mathew Zuckerman, who faces up to five years in a federal prison, agreed to pay the IRS $693,706 in restitution and Sandra, who faces up to one year in prison, agreed to pay $112,511, according to a news release by Jeffrey Dorschner.