November 30, 2017


– Peter Katz’s recent success is the quintessential example of why criminal matters categorically require seasoned attorneys with deep criminal defense know-how.

Pete had the recent opportunity in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York to defend a tax preparer who had filed returns for two individuals convicted of defrauding the U.S. government by means of false tax forms. Pete’s client pleaded guilty to his role in the scheme, and cooperated with the government in its prosecution of the others with hope of receiving a lenient sentence.

Unfortunately, over the past year, the government obtained evidence suggesting that while the tax preparer was cooperating with the government, he continued filing thousands of fraudulent tax returns. As a result, the government denied him credit for his cooperation, took away any benefit under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines for acceptance of responsibility, and rescinded his best chance of avoiding imprisonment.

Pete’s client went from facing no prison time whatsoever, to a government-recommended custodial sentence of four years.

This was a matter requiring tactical thinking by a seasoned criminal defense attorney who, as a former Federal and State prosecutor, was readily able to size up the prosecution’s position. Pete noted that the prosecution had not provided an abundance of records of his client’s alleged wrongdoings. For this reason, Pete strategically did not request an evidentiary hearing, which would have afforded the prosecution the chance to shore up its proofs.

Pete, however, took full advantage of the opportunity to offer substantial evidence as to the rich character of his client – an extraordinary man who singlehandedly raised a large family with sole responsibility for the support of six kids and two grandchildren. Aside from the anomaly of the initial charges, Pete’s client had led a law-abiding life with a long record of involvement with his church and as a community volunteer. Further, while he made some regrettable decisions as to the tax return preparations, Pete’s client was able to guarantee to the Court that he had walked away from that line of work. He sold his tax preparation business, which also enabled him to make restitution.

Pete submitted letters from dozens of his client’s supporters that detailed the many reasons he should not serve time in prison.

In the end, the Court agreed and rendered a lenient sentence sparing the client from any prison time.

Criminal matters regularly present complicated circumstances and high stakes. Pete is part of a team of former Federal and State prosecutors at CK with the skills and experience to successfully navigate even the most difficult criminal issues for our clients.

Congratulations, Pete, on a terrific result.

For more information about Pete Katz’s legal expertise, visit his biography.