report on a really bad cop, a crooked cop. Douglas Earl Leiter is going to jail for 10 years after being caught in running an elaborate tax scam that ensnared a number of co-defendants who are also going to prison for some time. If this were just about tax cheats, it wouldn't be "blawg"-worthy, but Leiter was a real Bad Cop. Here's the account by Paul Walsh:
"Mark David Maxwell, 54, of Minneapolis, was sentenced Thursday in federal court in St. Paul to five years and nine months in prison on one count of conspiracy to defraud the IRS.
The sentences for the others: the former officer, Douglas Earl Leiter, 42, of Minneapolis, 10 years, one month; Brian Keith Scott, 44, of Zimmerman, six years, six months; Christopher Craig Robinson, 37, of Plymouth, one year, eight months; Timothy Paul McCarthy, 63, of Minneapolis, four years, four months; and Laurie Therese Brausen, 53, of Little Canada, six months.
Leiter was regarded as the lead defendant in the case. He and several others founded a group called Common Law Venue, which the IRS said ran schemes that taught clients how to evade taxes by filing bogus trust tax returns or claiming phony "miscellaneous" deductions or setting up shadow corporations and nonprofit 'clubs.'
In 2003, the IRS moved to collect $10,000 in back taxes and fees from Leiter. A federal grand jury indicted him and several others in August 2008. In a 1998 high-speed chase, Leiter's squad car struck a pickup truck and killed two people. He was charged with two misdemeanors but not convicted. The victims' families each received a $300,000 settlement from the city.
In 2001, Leiter was suspended for 60 hours in connection with an off-duty search for records regarding co-defendant McCarthy, his one-time housemate and former priest who had been accused of criminal sexual contact with an inmate at the Hennepin County juvenile jail.
This ex-cop should be out and about by the time he marks his 50th birthday. Plenty of time for more mayhem.
Years ago I represented a bunch of working stiffs who had were ripped off by a tax preparer. This was near the end of the day and age when manufacturing jobs abounded. As this tax preparer went through the financial information of these blue collar guys he would tell them that he could save them money on their taxes based on charitable deductions these guys had not made, then he would tap the top of a file cabinet in his office and would wink at these schmoes and say--"I have all your receipts in here." Worse, he'd see their 1099s and suggest that they move their saving to his Gold Mine investments. It sounds ludicrous now, but this tax thief took these guys for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
After I got involved, it turned out that this guy had been at it for many years and had robbed many of these auto workers of their life savings. My clients kept asking me how come I couldn't attach "his gold mines." They were incredulous when I told them that there was not gold mines. It seems unreal even after all these years that these men fell for this fraud, but there's a lovely intelligent woman in the office where I currently work who fell for a Ponzi-scheme that is just as absurd on its face. The Ponzi schemer took in $8 million dollars from working class folks working in and around OurTown for investment in "real estate deed trusts" for properties allegedly being built in and around Phoenix, AZ. These victims were taken in by a member of their church. Nice.