Internal Revenue Bulletin:  2011-28 

July 11, 2011 

Announcement 2011-41

Announcement of Disciplinary Sanctions From the Office of Professional Responsibility


Table of Contents

The Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) announces recent disciplinary sanctions involving attorneys, certified public accountants, enrolled agents, enrolled actuaries, enrolled retirement plan agents, and appraisers. These individuals are subject to the regulations governing practice before the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which are set out in Title 31, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 10, and which are published in pamphlet form as Treasury Department Circular No. 230. The regulations prescribe the duties and restrictions relating to such practice and prescribe the disciplinary sanctions for violating the regulations.

The disciplinary sanctions to be imposed for violation of the regulations are:

Disbarred from practice before the IRS—An individual who is disbarred is not eligible to represent taxpayers before the IRS.

Suspended from practice before the IRS—An individual who is suspended is not eligible to represent taxpayers before the IRS during the term of the suspension.

Censured in practice before the IRS—Censure is a public reprimand. Unlike disbarment or suspension, censure does not affect an individual’s eligibility to represent taxpayers before the IRS, but OPR may subject the individual’s future representations to conditions designed to promote high standards of conduct.

Monetary penalty—A monetary penalty may be imposed on an individual who engages in conduct subject to sanction or on an employer, firm, or entity if the individual was acting on its behalf and if it knew, or reasonably should have known, of the individual’s conduct.

Disqualification of appraiser—An appraiser who is disqualified is barred from presenting evidence or testimony in any administrative proceeding before the Department of the Treasury or the IRS.

Under the regulations, attorneys, certified public accountants, enrolled agents, enrolled actuaries, and enrolled retirement plan agents may not assist, or accept assistance from, individuals who are suspended or disbarred with respect to matters constituting practice (i.e., representation) before the IRS, and they may not aid or abet suspended or disbarred individuals to practice before the IRS.

Disciplinary sanctions are described in these terms:

Disbarred by decision after hearing, Suspended by decision after hearing, Censured by decision after hearing, Monetary penalty imposed after hearing, and Disqualified after hearing—An administrative law judge (ALJ) conducted an evidentiary hearing upon OPR’s complaint alleging violation of the regulations and issued a decision imposing one of these sanctions. After 30 days from the issuance of the decision, in the absence of an appeal, the ALJ’s decision became the final agency decision.

Disbarred by default decision, Suspended by default decision, Censured by default decision, Monetary penalty imposed by default decision, and Disqualified by default decision—An ALJ, after finding that no answer to OPR’s complaint had been filed, granted OPR’s motion for a default judgment and issued a decision imposing one of these sanctions.

Disbarment by decision on appeal, Suspended by decision on appeal, Censured by decision on appeal, Monetary penalty imposed by decision on appeal, and Disqualified by decision on appeal—The decision of the ALJ was appealed to the agency appeal authority, acting as the delegate of the Secretary of the Treasury, and the appeal authority issued a decision imposing one of these sanctions.

Disbarred by consent, Suspended by consent, Censured by consent, Monetary penalty imposed by consent, and Disqualified by consent—In lieu of a disciplinary proceeding being instituted or continued, an individual offered a consent to one of these sanctions and OPR accepted the offer. Typically, an offer of consent will provide for: suspension for an indefinite term; conditions that the individual must observe during the suspension; and the individual’s opportunity, after a stated number of months, to file with OPR a petition for reinstatement affirming compliance with the terms of the consent and affirming current eligibility to practice (i.e., an active professional license or active enrollment status). An enrolled agent or an enrolled retirement plan agent may also offer to resign in order to avoid a disciplinary proceeding.

Suspended by decision in expedited proceeding, Suspended by default decision in expedited proceeding, Suspended by consent in expedited proceeding—OPR instituted an expedited proceeding for suspension (based on certain limited grounds, including loss of a professional license and criminal convictions).

OPR has authority to disclose the grounds for disciplinary sanctions in these situations: (1) an ALJ or the Secretary’s delegate on appeal has issued a decision on or after September 26, 2007, which was the effective date of amendments to the regulations that permit making such decisions publicly available; (2) the individual has settled a disciplinary case by signing OPR’s “consent to sanction” form, which requires consenting individuals to admit to one or more violations of the regulations and to consent to the disclosure of the individual’s own return information related to the admitted violations (for example, failure to file Federal income tax returns); or (3) OPR has issued a decision in an expedited proceeding for suspension.

Announcements of disciplinary sanctions appear in the Internal Revenue Bulletin at the earliest practicable date. The sanctions announced below are alphabetized first by the names of states and second by the last names of individuals. Unless otherwise indicated, section numbers (e.g. §10.51) refer to the regulations.

City and State Name Professional Designation Disciplinary Sanction Effective Date(s)
Alabama        
Pelham Poff Jr., Richard G. Attorney Suspended by default decision in expedited proceeding under §10.82 (suspension of attorney license) Indefinite from March 22, 2011
Arizona        
Mesa Allen, Steven W. Attorney Suspended by default decision in expedited proceeding under §10.82 (conviction under 18 U.S.C. §371, conspiracy to defraud the United States) Indefinite from February 7, 2011
California        
Newport Beach Agajanian, Roger J. Attorney Suspended by default decision in expedited proceeding under §10.82 (attorney disbarment) Indefinite from March 8, 2011
Los Angeles Burkenroad, David Attorney Suspended by decision in expedited proceeding under §10.82 (suspension of attorney license) Indefinite from February 17, 2011
Calabasas Geyer, Mark M. Attorney Suspended by default decision in expedited proceeding under §10.82 (attorney disbarment) Indefinite from March 22, 2011
San Francisco Martin, Craig K. Attorney Suspended by default decision in expedited proceeding under §10.82 (attorney disbarment) Indefinite from March 4, 2011
Colorado        
  Riebesell, Harold F., See Nevada      
Florida        
Ft. Lauderdale Legel, Lawrence CPA Suspended by decision on appeal for violations of §10.51 (conviction under 26 U.S.C. §7203, aiding and abetting in the failure to pay income tax) January 13, 2009 — January 13, 2012
Boca Raton Rizzo, Vincent D. Enrolled Agent   Reinstated to practice before the IRS, March 7, 2011
Idaho        
Pocatello Adamson, Dannis M. Attorney Suspended by default decision in expedited proceeding under §10.82 (conviction under 26 U.S.C. §7202, willful failure to pay over taxes) Indefinite from January 11, 2011
Illinois        
Lansing Clausing, Robert J. Enrolled Agent   Reinstated to practice before the IRS, March 9, 2011
Iowa        
Iowa City Fields, Jeffrey Attorney Suspended by default decision in expedited proceeding under §10.82 (suspension of attorney license) Indefinite from March 22, 2011
Kentucky        
Harrodsburg Pope, Lisa A. Enrolled Agent Suspended by consent for admitted violation of §10.51 (failure to file or timely file Federal individual income tax returns for tax years 2006-2008, and failure to timely file and pay taxes due on employer’s quarterly Federal tax returns for 11 quarters 2005-2007) Indefinite from March 25, 2011, but at least 18 months
Maryland        
Baltimore Hunt, Mark E. Attorney Suspended by decision in expedited proceeding under §10.82 (conviction under 26 U.S.C. §7213, unauthorized disclosure of returns and return information) Indefinite from April 11, 2011
Massachusetts        
Taunton Martin, Craig J. Attorney Suspended by decision in expedited proceeding under §10.82 (attorney disbarment) Indefinite from March 4, 2011
Tewksbury Paczkowski, Raymond J. Attorney Suspended by decision in expedited proceeding under §10.82 (attorney disbarment) Indefinite from March 4, 2011
Michigan        
Traverse City Tuttle, Wallace H. Attorney Disbarred by ALJ on summary judgment motion for violation of §10.51 (willful failure to file Federal individual income tax returns for 2007 and 2008) At least 5 years from April 9, 2011
Minnesota        
Minneapolis Biber, Aaron F. Attorney Suspended by decision in expedited proceeding under §10.82 (attorney disbarment) Indefinite from March 4, 2011
Nevada        
Reno Riebesell, Harold F. Attorney Suspended by default decision in expedited proceeding under §10.82 (suspension of attorney license in Colorado) Indefinite from March 4, 2011
New Jersey        
South Orange Hersh, Bruce D. Attorney Suspended by decision in expedited proceeding under §10.82 (attorney disbarment) Indefinite from March 4, 2011
New York        
Bronx Daniel, Cleavan Enrolled Agent Censured by consent for admitted violation of §10.22(a) (failure to exercise due diligence in the preparation of client tax returns filed with the Internal Revenue Service) July 2, 2009
Williamsville Rickard II, Michael W. Attorney Suspended by decision in expedited proceeding under §10.82 (attorney disbarment) Indefinite from March 4, 2011
Ohio        
Lewis Center Salisbury, Kirk G. CPA Disbarred by decision on appeal in proceeding under §10.60 for violation of §10.51 (failure to file Federal individual income tax returns for tax years 2004-2007, failure to timely file Federal individual income tax returns for tax years 2002 and 2003, and failure to timely pay Federal individual income tax return liabilities for tax years 2002 and 2003) At least 5 years from February 2, 2010
Oregon        
Beaverton Burroughs, Gary S. CPA Suspended by consent for admitted violation of §10.22 (failure to exercise due diligence in the determination of the validity of credits and deductions under §44 of the Internal Revenue Code) Indefinite from December 31, 2010
Pennsylvania        
Royersford Kozelsky, Joseph G. CPA Disbarred by decision on appeal for violations of §10.51 (failure to timely file Federal individual income tax returns for tax years 2001-2007) At least 5 years from December 17, 2010
Tennessee        
Knoxville Lockett, William S. Attorney Suspended by default decision in expedited proceeding under §10.82 (conviction under 26 U.S.C. §7203, willful failure to file a Federal income tax return) Indefinite from January 11, 2011
Texas        
Houston Aneji, Patrick E. CPA   Reinstated to practice before the IRS, February 17, 2011
Dallas Larue, Lauren C. Attorney Suspended by default decision in expedited proceeding under §10.82 (attorney disbarment) Indefinite from January 11, 2011
The Woodlands Petrillo, Donald J. Attorney Disbarred by decision on appeal for violations of §10.51 (willful failure to file, or timely file, Federal individual tax returns for 2004-2007) At least 5 years from April 22, 2011

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