A trial court was permitted to detain a Texas attorney before his trial on multiple charges including willfully filing false tax returns and witness tampering, an appeals panel ruled Oct. 24.
Jeffrey Stern participated in a 13-year scheme to defraud the IRS, even continuing to do so after being forced to pay fines and penalties in 2010 as a result of a civil audit, according to testimony from an IRS agent. Around the time of the federal criminal investigation into his activities, he was making around $3 million a year.
Stern has foreign bank accounts and has traveled internationally six times since the investigation started, the three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit said Oct. 24.
“After a careful review of the record, we conclude that the evidence as a whole supports the district court’s detention order,” the panel said.
Stern is also charged with conspiring to defraud the U.S., assisting in the preparation of false tax returns, witness tampering, and obstructing justice.
Stern’s attorneys didn’t immediately return a request for comment.
The judges on the panel were W. Eugene Davis, Jerry E. Smith, and Stephen A. Higginson.
The case is U.S. v. Stern, 5th Cir., No. 19-20626, 10/24/19.