The extravagantly wealthy and famously mean Leona Helmsley was quoted by a former employee as saying, "Only the little people pay taxes." Yes, but rich people can go to jail. How many years was Helmsley sentenced to prison for evading $1.2 million in back taxes?
Helmsley was sentenced to 4 years, but got out after 18 months, serving three more months in a Manhattan halfway house and under house arrest.
When Richard Hatch won the first season of "Survivor," he was one of the most famous non-celebrities in America. Why and how did he end up with a 51-month jail sentence for tax evasion?
He didn't pay taxes on his $1 million prize for winning "Survivor."
In 2006, Hatch was sentenced to 51 months in federal prison for tax evasion and other charges. He was released in 2009, but briefly returned to federal prison in 2011 for failure to adhere to the terms of his original release.
He hadn't paid income tax for a decade and the Intenal Revenue Service (IRS) tracked him down because of his sudden fame.
Richard Hatch wasn't his real name. He had changed his name to hide the fact that he had never paid income tax.
True or False: Martha Stewart went to jail for tax evasion.
Martha Stewart was convicted of evading $221,677 in back taxes to the State of New York related to her home in the Hamptons, but she eventually served jail time for a felony conviction of insider trading.
Country music star Willie Nelson was convicted of evading $16.7 million in back taxes and forced to pay $32 million penalties. After auctioning off most of his possessions, he released an album titled…
"The IRS Tapes — Who'll Buy My Memories?"
Despite some critical acclaim, "The IRS Tapes" didn't quite generate enough sales to get the feds off Willie's back: It only made about $3.6 million.
Dennis Kozlowski was CEO of Tyco when he was indicted for tax evasion. What expensive hobby tipped off the feds to Kozlowski's tax cheating?
A collection of 50 vintage Porsches
A $13 million art collection
Kozlowski purchased paintings by Renoir, Monet and other artists for his Manhattan apartment. To avoid state taxes on the purchase, he pretended to ship the art to Tyco offices in New Hampshire in empty boxes.
True or False: A former commissioner of the IRS was once convicted of tax evasion.
Joseph D. Nunan, Jr., who served as IRS commissioner from 1944 to 1947, was convicted of hiding more than $90,000 in income, including an $1,800 bet that Harry Truman would win the 1948 presidential election.