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Los Angeles-While recent tax evasion charges brought against civil rights attorney Stephen Yagman are based largely on expenditures related to his personal lifestyle, federal prosecutors have accused him of concealing money he received as a principal of his Venice, Calif.-based law firm, now called Yagman & Yagman & Reichmann. On June 23, prosecutors unsealed an indictment that charged Yagman with one count of tax evasion, one count of bankruptcy fraud and 17 counts of money laundering. Prosecutors allege that Yagman failed to pay more than $158,000 in federal income taxes to the Internal Revenue Service and hid assets from trustees overseeing bankruptcies filed on behalf of himself and his former law firm, Yagman & Yagman. Yagman is best known for filing numerous lawsuits against the top officials of various law enforcement agencies, particularly in Los Angeles. In recent years, Yagman has sought to bring disciplinary action against U.S. District Judge Manuel Real of the Central District of California in a case closely watched by judges nationwide. Yagman alleges that Real, who was handling a loan fraud case involving a woman under probation, made improper rulings as part of her separate bankruptcy case. After dismissing Yagman’s case twice, Mary Schroeder, chief judge of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, recently appointed a special committee to investigate the charges. In a prepared statement issued the day of the indictment, Yagman’s lawyer, Barry Tarlow, a partner at Tarlow & Berk in Los Angeles, said that Yagman is targeted because of the numerous cases he has successfully brought against government agencies, including one of the first federal suits filed on behalf of a detainee at the prison camp in Guant�namo Bay, Cuba. He did not return calls seeking further comment. “Stephen’s zealous and effective advocacy for poor and unpopular clients and against the government has earned him either praise or scorn, depending upon whether or not one believes that the government and police never can do wrong,” said former U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph Reichmann, who works with Yagman at his law firm. He added in a statement that Yagman “would not intentionally commit a crime.” The indictment alleges that Yagman “made numerous material misrepresentations and omissions to the personal and corporate bankruptcy trustees concerning the cases his law corporation and law partnership were handling, the status of those cases, and the receipt of settlement funds in those cases.” In 1999, Yagman filed for Chapter 7 personal bankruptcy protection. At that time, he had just filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection on behalf of Yagman & Yagman and formed his current firm, which includes his ex-wife Marion Yagman and Reichmann. He also had just completed a year’s suspension from the practice of law for collecting exorbitant fees, the second time since being admitted by the State Bar of California in 1976. Now, legal fees, and other income he received for his work as a lawyer, are significant subjects in the government’s indictment. $1.4M allegedly undisclosed Specifically, Yagman failed to disclose as part of his law firm’s bankruptcy about $1.4 million in attorney fees, including his personal share of $500,000, from the settlements of cases pending at the time, the indictment says. In 1998, he allegedly opened a corporate bank account in order to hide about $581,000 in assets from the Internal Revenue Service, including three settlement checks from the city of Los Angeles totaling more than $175,000. He also used a brokerage account under his girlfriend’s name to pay legal bills and make loans to his law firm, the indictment alleges. Prosecutors also allege that he received a $125,000 bank check in 1999 from a client a few weeks after his law firm filed for bankruptcy protection. He failed to disclose the check, or his $50,000 share of the fees, as part of his personal bankruptcy.

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