When love goes bad: Divorce and taxes
Legal fee issue leads to dismissal of tax-shelter charges

A new twist on death and taxes

When Ben Franklin uttered his famous quote about two of the most dreaded inevitabilities we face, I'm pretty sure he never envisioned them meeting up quite this way:

The former director of UCLA's Willed Body Program pleaded guilty to federal tax charges after admitting he never paid taxes on tens of thousands of dollars he made while overseeing the university's program.

The Orange County Register adds that Henry Reid, the university official in question, was charged with selling donated bodies that were supposed to be used for medical research to a middleman, who then resold them to other people. Prosecutors alleged that Reid, an Anaheim resident, made $43,000 in the scam, while his alleged co-conspirator, Ernest Nelson of Rancho Cucamonga, made more than $1 million.

The irony here is that Reid was hired by UCLA to clean up its Willed Body Program after the school was accused of mixing medical waste and animal remains with the ashes of human donors and then disposing of the bodies etc. in a garbage dump.

Last week, Reid, who was officially charged with grand theft for allegedly selling for profit body parts donated to UCLA's medical research program, 'fessed up. According to federal court papers, he admitted that he pocketed over $54,000 that he never reported to the Internal Revenue Service. That plea figure was higher than lawmen originally alleged, so I guess he was hiding more than just the cadaver cash.

Reid also pleaded guilty to one count of filing to a false income tax return. The statutory maximum sentence in such cases is three years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000 in his tax case.

According to the Los Angeles Times, a Sept. 14 hearing in L.A. County Superior Court is scheduled for Nelson, Reid's alleged partner in this morbid crime. In addition to the grand theft charges, Nelson faces three tax evasion charges.

And thanks to Joe Kristan at Roth CPA and Paul Caron at TaxProf for making sure this story didn't get, uh, buried.


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