On Monday, it was announced that a Rutland, Vermont attorney had been sentenced to prison in connection with the filing of false tax returns. John R. Canney III was sentenced to seven months in prison, a year of supervised release and a $15,000 fine. As a part of the plea agreement, Canney has agreed to cooperate with the IRS in the assessment of the taxes due.
The United States filed a criminal information on May 15, 2017. It charged Canney with a single count of filing a false tax return for tax year 2011 and one count of filing a false corporate tax return for year 2011. The defendant pled guilty to the charges on June 1, 2017.
Canney was the sole owner of John R. Canney III P.C., which was a Rutland law firm. The firm used two principal bank accounts, an operating account and a client trust account. The trust account was used for client retainer fees and funds held in trust. Mr. Canney often transferred fees earned through legal services from the client trust account to his personal bank account.
Canney provided his tax preparer with information regarding the firm’s operation accounts and not the transactions from the client trust account. Therefore, the corporate tax return did not contain the diverted funds. Canney carried out similar actions for the 2010, 2012, and 2013 tax years. The defendant has been sentenced to seven months in prison.