Alabama salesman pleads guilty to tax evasion


Defendant used offshore insurance wrapper accounts to conceal assets

Date: March 9, 2020


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – A Hoover, Alabama, salesman and tax defier pleaded guilty today to tax evasion, announced Acting Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Atlanta Field Office, Andrew Thornton, Jr.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Ivan Scott "Scott" Butler was an automobile industry consultant and sold automobile warranties as an independent salesman. In 1993, Butler stopped filing tax returns and attended tax defier meetings and purchased tax defier materials. Starting in 1998, Butler used several Nevada nominee corporations to receive his income. In around 1999, Butler moved hundreds of thousands of dollars, some in precious metals, to bank accounts in Switzerland and concealed his assets in offshore insurance policies held in the name of non-U.S. insurance providers, disguising his ownership of the funds. Such accounts, which generally are used as investment vehicles, are commonly known as "insurance wrappers."

In 2014, Butler converted some of his insurance annuities into precious metals, which were shipped to Butler and another individual in the United States. Some of those precious metals were given to friends and family for safekeeping. In total, Butler caused a tax loss to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of $1,093,400.

"At IRS Criminal Investigation, our top priority is protecting the integrity of our nation's tax system," Thornton said. "Today's guilty plea should send a clear message that orchestrating a scheme to not file tax returns and conceal assets will result in your prosecution."

"Those who attempt to defy the laws of the United States, and believe themselves to be above complying with their duties as tax payers, will quickly find that no one is above the law," Town said. "The Department of Justice will continue to federally charge those who continue to do so."

U.S. District Judge Annemarie Carney Axon scheduled sentencing for June 24, 2020. At sentencing, Butler faces a maximum sentence of five years. Butler also faces a period of supervised release, restitution, and monetary penalties.

This investigation was conducted by special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation. Senior Litigation Counsel Nanette Davis of the Tax Division and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Allison Garnett and Robin Mark, are prosecuting the case.