OC Tied to Alleged Seattle IRS Scam

The Associated Press in Seattle reported this morning that IRS agents recently busted a massive tax-shelter scheme with potential ties to Santa Ana and Fountain Valley.

According to federal court documents unsealed yesterday, Robert Arant created a “warehouse bank” that allowed “people who wanted the discretion of a Swiss bank account without going to Switzerland.” Arant faces angry IRS agents for allegedly helping hundreds of citizens around the country evade taxes on at least $28 million.

The wire service claims IRS investigator Susan Killingsworth traced a portion of the hidden money to Carl Melville, a Santa Ana chiropractor.

In 2004, the IRS busted a Fountain Valley-based “warehouse bank” scheme run by Anthony L. Hargis. U.S. District Judge David O. Carter ruled that Hargis had used bank accounts in his own name in several states to shelter money and to help people avoid IRS “paper trails.” At one point, Carter jailed Hargis for refusing to identify his accomplices.

Arant faces potential civil penalties for promoting the scheme if he loses a civil case filed by the government.

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