Forbes has published an article, “Federal Prosecutors Coming Down Hard On Abusive Conservation Easement Promoters”, which discusses punishments for those that utilize Syndicated Conservation Easement (SCE) products. The article begins as follows:
Syndicated Conservation Easement (SCE) products aren’t produced in vacuums. There are teams of people constructing and assembling a variety of documents that support each fund’s capital raise. In the past, if one of those procedural links failed it was treated independently from the others. What this conspiracy case tells us in moving forward, is that each link infects the link it touches. That the whole chain will be viewed as corrupt.
It’s a great unveiling that stands before us as industry appraisers and accounting firms begin buckling under the pressure.
That is what a source told me at the end of 2020 when brother accountants Stein and Corey Agee pled guilty to one count each of conspiracy to defraud the United States from their involvement with SCE. In June 2021 another shoe dropped with the indictment of CPA Herbert Lewis on one conspiracy count, just like the Agees – and 24 counts of wire fraud, 32 counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation of false federal tax returns and 5 counts of filing false tax returns. On February 24, the same grand jury in the US District Court For The Northern District of Georgia Atlanta Division gives us a veritable collapsing shoe store with its first superseding indictment to the June 2021 Lewis indictment – 135 counts spread among 7 individual including Lewis.
Posted by Anthony Tran, Associate Editor, Wealth Strategies Journal