The former Cincinnati-based in-house counsel for the retail chain Buddy's Carpet was sentenced Thursday to 18 months in federal prison for his role in a tax fraud scheme, the U.S. Justice Department said.
A jury in 2008 found the lawyer, Alan Koehler, 50, guilty of conspiracy and of assisting in the filing of a false federal income tax return. Koehler, indicted in 2005, was sentenced in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. The former owner of the company, Leif Rozin, 68, was sentenced to about a year in prison.
Prosecutors had sought a 96-month prison sentence, saying Koehler created a tax loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars through the purchase several sham insurance policies from an insurance company in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Government lawyers said the purpose was to provide tax deductions to the company and to the owners.
Koehler, licensed to practice law in Ohio, withheld key facts from investigators after the criminal investigation was disclosed, according to prosecutors. More on the case here from DOJ.
Koehler’s lawyers, Michael Krumholtz of Dayton’s Bieser, Greer & Landis and Dayton solo Lawrence Greger, urged Judge Susan Dlott to sentence Koehler to probation with a condition of house arrest.
“The felony record will remain with him the remainder of his life,” Koehler’s lawyers said in court papers filed in August. “Every application that calls for a response to the question, ‘have you ever been convicted of a felony,’ will yet again reinforce the seriousness of the offense and will continue to promote respect for the law. In some ways this lifetime appellation is more than just punishment for the offense, since it is in effect a life sentence.”
Dlott also ordered Koehler to serve three years of supervised release and pay a $20,000 fine.