Now, An Alleged ‘Sham Cemetery’ And $90 Million ‘Promissory Note’ Scam; Feds Say Men ‘Concocted’ Millions Of Dollars In ‘Fake Partnership Losses’ In Bizarre Tax Scheme Hatched Through ‘Shell Companies’

If the “redemption” scams in which delusional hucksters tell enraptured prospects that the government maintains secret accounts Americans can tap to qualify for multimillion-dollar tax refunds and pay for everything from cars to speeding tickets haven’t caused your brain to shut down from suspending too much disbelief, you now may have another opportunity to fry your mind.

The Justice Department has filed a lawsuit in federal court in the District of Columbia to halt what it described as a “Sham Cemetery” tax-shelter scam operated through “shell companies” controlled by Michael A. Strauss of Herndon, Va.; Patrick B. Strauss, of Washington, D.C.; and Joseph C. Barreiro of Poughkeepsie, N.Y. Patrick Strauss is the son of Michael Strauss.

Investigators identified the shell companies as Burial Specialists LLC, Memorial Specialists LLC and Dignified Charitable Burials.

The Strausses and Barreiro promoted “illegal tax schemes,” received “millions of dollars from their customers and concocted approximately $35 million in fake partnership losses and phony charitable contribution deductions, which they falsely told their customers could be used to offset their federal income taxes,” the Justice Department said.

Customers were falsely promised they’d receive $5 in tax benefits for every dollar that they ‘invested,'” the agency said.

As part of the scheme, the Justice Department said, customers also were falsely told that  “Burial Specialists had bought a ‘license’ worth more than $90 million from a company called Southern Dorchester LLC using a $90 million ‘promissory note.’

“The license purportedly gave Burial Specialists the right to future profits from performing funeral services at a purported cemetery in Spotsylvania County, Va.,” the Justice Department said.

And  “the defendants also falsely claimed that Burial Specialists could annually deduct a portion of the license’s supposed value and then pass on millions of dollars in losses to the customers,” the agency said.

But the Justice Department  “contends that there was no arm’s-length sale by Southern Dorchester and that Michael Strauss and Barreiro fabricated the $90 million ‘license’ value, along with the accompanying $90 million ‘promissory note,’ to generate fake tax benefits,” the agency said.

“The defendants also allegedly used the fictitious promissory note to siphon off, for their personal benefit, funds that they told their customers were being ‘invested,'” the Justice Department said.

A virtually identical scheme hatched by the three men also was under way involving “a supposed cemetery in Lloyd, N.Y.,” the agency said.

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6 Responses to “Now, An Alleged ‘Sham Cemetery’ And $90 Million ‘Promissory Note’ Scam; Feds Say Men ‘Concocted’ Millions Of Dollars In ‘Fake Partnership Losses’ In Bizarre Tax Scheme Hatched Through ‘Shell Companies’”

  1. Now all we need is a scam that covers a special tax-deductible program for baby cribs, and we will have it covered from cradle to grave.

    Sorry, couldn’t resist. Imagine what these guys could have done if they had put their creativity to work for good instead of crime.

  2. Dem ‘Parasites’ Hypocrite: Farm Subsidy Taker, Former Baby Crib Scammer

    And that’s not all. Apparently, Jungerman thinks it’s perfectly non-parasitic to sell his baby cribs, by committing fraud under 18 U.S.C. § 1341, to lure unsuspecting parents to scammy fake safety classes. A practice, which he has fortunately, since discontinued.

    Jungerman’s baby furniture business was found guilty of civil fraud in a lawsuit filed by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. His business, Baby-Tenda Corporation, together with his distributors, ran a “safety seminar” scam, in which mailed invites were sent to expectant moms, purposely worded to create the “false impression that the seminar is sponsored by a governmental or other agency and is devoted to baby safety.” The court found that “the true purpose of the event is to sell Defendant’s products.”

    Close enough?

  3. Tony H:

    Too funny! Here I was making a joke, and all along it had already been done. So yes it is close enough and now we have scams covered from cradle to grave. I’m afraid to ask about scams from A-Z.

  4. Lynn:

    Here is your scams from A to Z

  5. @Jack Arons, That list doesn’t quite get it. There aren’t any listings under “K”, LOL.

  6. To a person seeking to post in this thread: Please change the URL you’ve tried to submit. Respectfully, I will not approve posts with that URL.