A Santa Barbara-based, high-profile criminal defense attorney has pled guilty Monday in federal court to three counts of willfully failing to file tax returns, according to officials.
Darryl W. Genis, 60, also admitted, in his plea agreement, to willfully failing to pay his taxes for those three years as well as several additional years, costing the IRS $679,958.
Genis plead guilty this morning to willfully failing to file tax returns for his law practice for the years 2009, 2010, and 2011, federal misdemeanors.
Genis’ sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 3. He is facing up to three years in prison, officials said.
He admitted that he made enough money in his law practice to require that he file tax returns in those years, but that he knowingly and intentionally chose to not file his tax returns despite his legal obligation to do so.
Genis also admitted that he did not pay the full amount of taxes that he owed for the years 2005-2012.
“As an attorney this defendant had a heightened responsibility to follow the law, and instead he cheated the IRS and every law-abiding taxpayer in the country,” said U.S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “Today’s guilty pleas will deprive the defendant of the fruits of his crimes and send a message that everyone must pay their taxes.”
As part of his plea agreement, Genis agreed to pay restitution to the IRS in the amount of $679,958, representing unpaid taxes for the years 2005 through 2012. Genis also has agreed to the IRS’s assessment of the civil penalties applicable to all 8 tax years in issue.
“This case is a reminder that no one is above the law,” stated Acting Special Agent in Charge Anthony J. Orlando with IRS Criminal Investigation. “Each of us is responsible for filing a tax return when required and for paying the correct amount of tax due. Mr. Genis chose to ignore his duty to file and pay taxes and will now face severe consequences, which may include imprisonment and substantial fines.”
Last year, Genis was in trouble with officials with the State Bar of California has recommended a 30-day suspension and two-year probation for Santa Barbara attorney Darryl Wayne Genis for misconduct, according to the Lompoc Record.
Hearing Judge Richard Honn found in February 2014 that Genis was an “effective but confrontational criminal defense attorney” and that he violated court orders in two superior courts. Honn recommended a 90-day suspension, which Genis appealed, the Lompoc Record reported.
Honn, who presided over Genis’ disciplinary trial, made the recommendation based on criteria including that the attorney made a false and malicious State Bar complaint, committed an act of moral turpitude and failed to obey court orders, according to the Record.
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