On Wednesday, July 18, 2018, it was announced that 67-year-old Marc Howard Berger of Walnut Creek, California had been convicted of three counts of aiding and abetting the filing of a false tax return. The jury found that the defendant willfully assisted in the preparation of three false Form 1040s for co-defendant G. Steven Burrill for the tax years 2011, 2012 and 2013. Evidence at trial showed that the defendant served as a Certified Public Accountant and partner with a regional tax preparation firm, Burr Pilger Mayer.
Berger’s client, G. Steven Burrill, was the owner and CEO of Burrill Capital, Burrill & Company and a handful of related entities. By using these entities, Burrill managed venture capital funds, including Burrill Life Sciences Capital Funds III LP, which was a $283 million investment fund focused on the life sciences industry. Between December 2017 and September 2013, Burrill transferred more than $18 million from the Burrill Life Sciences Fund to his management companies in excess of the management fees that were due and allowed under the agreements governing the fund.
Berger prepared false tax returns for Burrill that failed to report more than $18 million in income. That resulted in unpaid taxes of more than $4.7 million. With Berger’s help, Burrill was able to avoid paying individual income taxes for the years 2009 through 2013. Further details have been made available here.