A former partner at Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone in Kalamazoo, Mich., was sentenced yesterday to five years in prison for tax-related crimes that involved a client, the Justice Department said.
The lawyer, John "Jac" Campbell, 68, pleaded guilty in April 2008 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan to one count of conspiring the defraud the government. A client, Oskar Rene Poch, was sentenced yesterday to one year of probation.
Poch, who owned Trillium Staffing, an employee-leasing company in Kalamazoo, pleaded guilty last year to obstructing the administration of Internal Revenue Service laws. Poch, represented by Myers Nelson Dillon & Shierk, said in a letter to the court that lying to the IRS “jeopardized everything I have spent a lifetime building.” Poch has repaid $1.63 million in taxes since pleading guilty.
Justice prosecutors said in court papers that Campbell, represented by Butzel Long partners in Detroit, promoted and implemented illegal tax shelters for clients between 1999 and 2006 and also helped Poch evade income taxes for 1999 and 2000. Three of the tax shelter promoters were convicted on conspiracy charges last month after a four-week trial.
Campbell said he retired from Miller Canfield in 2007 after having worked in tax and employee benefits arena for more than 40 years. He said in a letter to U.S. District Judge Janet Neff that he has resigned from the Michigan bar and that he has no intention to resume the practice of law or to give tax advice.
“My reputation as a tax advisor has unquestionably suffered as a result of my actions and conviction,” Campbell said in the letter. “This event has ruined my professional and personal reputation, built over many years, in Kalamazoo.