Fri, Mar 09, 2001 EST
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IRS Conducts Most Extensive Raid Ever on Tax Evaders
Associated Press
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NEW YORK — 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, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

The IRS, in 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 four arrests and conduct more than three dozen searches last week, the newspaper said.

"Last week's historic enforcement activities send an unmistakable signal about IRS commitment to pursue investigations of promoters and their clients who would try to move money offshore to evade taxes," IRS Commissioner Charles O. Rossotti told the Times.

The four 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.

Keith Anderson, the owner of Anderson's Ark, told the Times that he and those arrested during raids in Costa Rica and Washington state had done nothing wrong and would be vindicated if tried.

The IRS also raided the Institute of Global Property, an Internet company; author Jerome Schneider's California office; and the offices of Schneider's lawyer, Eric Witmeyer.

Schneider wrote and published "The Complete Guide to Offshore Money Havens" and "How to Own Your Own Private International Bank." Harland Braun, Schneider's lawyer, said his client had not violated any laws.

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