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Marc Harris Faces 17 Year Jail Sentence

by Glen Shapiro, LawAndTax-News.com, New York

02 June 2004


Former accountant and self-styled "offshore asset protection guru", Marc Harris was last month handed a 17 year sentence and more than $26 million in fines and restitution for his part in 16 of the 30 counts of money laundering and tax evasion with which he was charged by the US authorities.

A former resident of both Panama and Nicaragua, Harris was expelled from the country by the Nicaraguan authorities last June to stand trial in connection with the tax evasion cases of father and son Freon (a banned refrigerant) smugglers, Tony and Joseph Vigna, and beauty aid suppliers, Moses and Frank Krieger. The men claimed that Harris had masterminded the schemes for which they were standing trial.

According to the KYC News service, the former financier was convicted of one count of conspiracy to defraud the US (in connection with both cases), two counts of tax evasion with regard to the Vignas, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering related to the the Freon smugglers, and 13 counts of money laundering, also involving the Vignas.

Arguing that Harris was indeed the "go-to partner" in the laundering of the Freon smugglers' proceeds, Federal District Judge James Cohn overruled all but one of the defense appeals against the stiff sentencing.

Harris's lawyers are understood to be planning an appeal.


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