A high-flying bio-tech investment advisor will report to prison in March, 2019, to serve a 30-month sentence.
Steven Burrill was a well-known biotech venture capitalist whose downfall began when issues with his staff led them to alert investors of the scam that Mr. Burrill had been running for some years. An IRS criminal tax investigation grew from allegations made by investors concerned about the fund.
Mr. Burrill worked with accounting firm Ernst and Young for 28 years before becoming CEO of Burrill and Company, a biotech and life sciences private equity firm. The firm was founded in 1994 and was instrumental in providing funds to early biotech and healthcare companies.
Indicted on 34 counts, Mr. Burrill entered a guilty plea to reduced charges. The original counts could have led to a decade or more in prison for Mr. Burrill, who is 74 years old. Mr. Burrill siphoned money from his investment funds for personal use. Prosecutors report Mr. Burrill moved more than $18 million from the investment fund to companies managed by him.
Some of the money skimmed by Mr. Burrill was used to fuel his lavish lifestyle, including trips abroad, jewelry for his wife and his girlfriend, private jets, and private transportation services, among other purchases.
In addition to entering a guilty plea to investment advisor fraud, Mr. Burrill admitted to filing a false income tax return that omitted the money he was illegally funneling away from his investment funds.
In early January, 2019, a hearing will determine the amount of restitution and fines to be paid by Mr. Burrill. Approximately $5 million is still owed to his investment fund as well as back taxes to the IRS on his ill-gotten gains.
Like many, the criminal tax matter admitted to by Mr. Burrill was complex. Mr. Burrill ultimately became a willing party to a plea agreement that greatly reduced his loss of liberty and may not leave him penniless.
For corporate officers or high wealth individuals concerned about an IRS audit or criminal investigation, it is never too soon to contact a knowledgeable tax attorney who has experience in providing solutions and options to criminal tax charges.
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