A federal appeals court has upheld the tax fraud conviction of real estate magnate Charles Kushner's brother-in-law, finding use of a "willful blindness" jury charge satisfied a criminal tax offense's willfulness element. The instruction may, where warranted by trial evidence, "properly apply to a defendant's knowledge of his legal duties," the 3rd Circuit held. The court rejected a challenge by Kushner Cos. executive VP Richard Stadtmauer, who pleaded guilty in 2004 to assisting in the filing of false partnership tax returns.
'Willful Blindness' Jury Charge Proper in Tax Fraud Conviction, 3rd Circuit Rules
New Jersey Law Journal
September 16, 2010