While death and taxes are always certain, take lesson from Andrew A. Calcione that you should never mix them together.
In May 2014, a federal judge found 49-year-old Andrew A. Calcione of Cranston, Rhode Island, guilty of threatening to assault an IRS Revenue Agent, rape and kill the agent’s wife and injure the agent’s daughter while the agent watched before murdering the agent. The reason? Mr. Calcione didn’t want to pay his tax bill of $330,000.
According to government testimony as reported in United States of America v. Andrew A. Calcione, U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island (Providence County), Case No. 1:13-mj-00291-LDA, Mr. Calcione was selected for audit for the years 2008, 2009 and 2010. Mr. Calcione’s behavior is also so bizarre because for many years worked as a professional tax return preparer and was a partner in a tax preparation business in Rhode Island. As a result of the audit which was being conducted by an agent out of the IRS office in Warwick, Rhode Island, it appeared that Mr. Calcione would be responsible for an additional $330,000 in tax liability.
In April 2013 while the audit was still in progress, Mr. Calcione and his ex-wife Patricia were asked to sign a form allowing extra time to assess their case. As part of the audit process, an IRS revenue agent requested that Mr. Calcione and his ex-wife sign a Consent to Extend Time to Assess Tax. A consent is almost always requested during audit because, by statute, the Service does not have an unlimited time to examine a tax return. As a general rule, the IRS can’t assess tax more than three years after the later of the date the return was due or the date the return was actually filed (this is sometimes referred to as the statute of limitations) though exceptions may apply. If an audit is bumping up against that statute of limitations, it is sometimes (but not always) advantageous to sign a consent to allow more time to argue your case before the IRS issues a notice of deficiency. In short, it’s a question of timing.
Mr. Calcione signed the document, but his wife did not, spurring the agent to leave a voicemail on Mr. Calcione’s cell phone asking about the consent on July 12, 2013.
Mr. Calcione called the agent back three days later which was July 15, 2013. He did not, however, call to leave a friendly status update. Rather, according to court documents, Mr. Calcione advised the agent that if he called again, Mr. Calcione would show up at the agent’s home and torture the agent’s family before killing all of them. And he said it all on voicemail.
It wasn’t a run of the mill threat either. The initial call lasted over 3 minutes and contained numerous threats.
Court records reveal the following snippet of the call:
“I’m just going to show up where you live. Hmm, and that’s a promise, man. It’s not a threat. I will just show up where you live, and then, it will be the end of it, like that. Huh? Hmm, I’m just right up the street, mother f****r, anytime you’re ready. Yeah … hmm, hmm. Security? Hmm (laughs). This ain’t Fisher Karate, karate, Jiu-Jitsu, f*****g kick boxing, or whatever. I have no problem f*****g blowing your brains … no … I won’t even think twice about it. Matter of fact, I’d shoot you in the f*****g knee caps, tie you to a f*****g chair, gag ya … and then f**k your wife in front of ya, and then blow her f*****g brains out in front of ya and maybe kill your f*****g kid and then maybe [inaudible]. So you can deal with that.”
You’d think that he’d stop there. But he didn’t. Mr. Calcione actually called the agent back on the same day, telling him to “disregard my previous voicemail.” Mr. Calcione went on, according to the agent, to say that the message was intended to mess (though he used a more colorful word) with his daughter.
After receiving the threatening calls, the agent reported Mr. Calcione to the police.
Prosecutors were able to establish that both calls came from a cell phone belonging to Mr. Calcione’s wife. The agent also recognized Mr. Calcione’s voice.
Mr. Calcione later switched up his story and told police that the message was actually intended for his ex-wife (and you wonder why she’s an ex). At some point, it must have dawned on him that none of those stories made any sense so he tried another version, claiming that he had been talking to himself in the car and must have accidentally called the agent using hands-free.
What’s really bizarre is Mr. Calcione’s explanation for the call. He told IRS special agents that the call was intended for his ex-wife who was apparently seeking increased child support (and you wonder why she’s an ex). At some point, it must have dawned on him that this story made no sense so he tried another version claiming that he was merely talking out loud in his car and must have accidentally activated his phone’s hands free calling feature.
Court records reveal that prior to this offense, Mr. Calcione ran a successful financial services business and had no criminal record.
U.S. District Court Chief Judge William E. Smith didn’t buy any of Mr. Calcione’s stories. He found Mr. Calcione guilty of threatening to assault and murder the agent and his family after Mr. Calcione waived a jury trial.
Following the conviction, the U.S. government made several statements:
Assistant U.S. Attorney Gerard B. Sullivan had prosecuted the case and his boss, United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha referred to Mr. Calcione’s behavior as “outrageous, threatening, and frankly bizarre noting that “[t]he vast majority of Americans understand the payment of their federal taxes is part of their civic responsibilities.” Mr. Neronha went on to say that his office would be “seeking the toughest, appropriate sense in this case.”
J. Russell George, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, stated that “the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration works aggressively to protect IRS employees from individuals who seek to impair the integrity of tax administration by threatening harm or committing violent acts.”
Special Agent in Charge Robert E. O’Malley of the IRS Criminal Investigation Division stated that “threats and assaults directed against IRS employees are investigated and pursued to the fullest extent of the law.” Adding, “we will continue to place a priority on ensuring the safety of IRS employees by working towards the arrest, conviction, and sentencing of the perpetrator.”
For the record, while bad behavior and threats can always be considered criminal, there are special rules which apply with dealing with the feds. Federal law provides that “knowingly and intentionally threaten to assault and murder a Revenue Agent of the IRS with intend to interfere with the official in the performance of official duties and knowingly and intentionally threaten to assault and murder a member of the immediate family of a Revenue Agent of the IRS are each punishable by statutory penalties of up to 10 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000.”
That meant that Mr. Calcione could face up to 20 years for his crimes.
But on September 27, 2014 in U.S. Federal District Court he was sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison. Although part of the record is sealed, what is public suggests that Mr. Calcione may have tried to claim an anxiety disorder as a reason for his bizarre behavior. If true, he will have plenty of time to meditate while in prison. By the way, his tax bill of $330,000.00 will still be waiting for him when he completes his sentence.
Don’t Take The Chance And Lose Everything You Have Worked For.
Protect yourself. If you are being audited or investigated by IRS or in danger of wage garnishments or bank levies or having a tax lien placed against your property, stand up to the IRS and your State Tax Agency by getting representation. Tax problems are usually a serious matter and must be handled appropriately so it’s important to that you’ve hired the best lawyer for your particular situation.
Original Post By: Jeffrey Kahn