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40th Annual National Institute on Criminal Tax Fraud and the 13th Annual National Institute on Tax Controversy

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40th Annual National Institute on Criminal Tax Fraud and the 13th Annual National Institute on Tax Controversy

December 7, 2023 - December 9, 2023

Kostelanetz attorneys will participate in a variety of panels and presentations at the 40th Annual National Institute on Criminal Tax Fraud and the 13th Annual National Institute on Tax Controversy in Las Vegas, NV on December 7-9, 2023.

Thursday, December 7, 2023

2:30 pm – 5:00 pm (PST): Michael Sardar presents on a panel titled “Criminal Tax Workshop.”

Description: The Criminal Tax Workshop will cover the “nuts and bolts” of a criminal tax investigation
through resolution. We will address strategies and techniques for handling sensitive civil
examinations and criminal investigations, and defending a criminal prosecution, including
relevant evidence, IRS Special Agent interviews of the taxpayer or preparer, representation of a
target, subject or witness in a criminal investigation, how to approach a Department of Justice
conference, procedural and trial issues that every criminal tax defense attorney should know,
when and how to argue tax loss issues, effective plea negotiations, and sentencing strategies.

Learning Objectives:
• When to anticipate a criminal referral
• Representing a client through the process and procedures of a criminal investigation
• Considering opportunities for advocacy at each stage of the investigation and preprosecution
• Understanding pre-trial and trial issues
• Taking advantage of strategic opportunities


  • Michelle Feit Schwerin, Shareholder, Neill Schwerin Boxerman, P.C.
  • Justin Gelfand, Partner, Margulis Gelfand, LLC


  • Michael Sardar, Partner, Kostelanetz LLP
  • Caryn Finley, Assistant US Attorney
  • Elizabeth Hadden, Deputy Associate Chief Counsel, IRS Criminal Tax
  • Edward Robbins, Jr., Principal, Hochman Salkin Toscher Perez, P.C.
  • Richard Speier, Former Deputy Chief, IRS CI
  • Jeff Trevillion, Jr., Director, Crowe & Dunlevy, P.C.

Friday, December 8, 2023

10:30 am – 11:30 am (PST): Megan L. Brackney moderates a panel titled “Criminal Enforcement Priorities.”

Description: Hear a roundtable discussion of hot topics, recent decisions, and enforcement priorities in
criminal tax enforcement. The speakers are all current or former Internal Revenue Service or
Department of Justice leaders and prosecutors.

Learning Objectives:
• To provide information about IRS Criminal Investigation’s top enforcement priorities.
• To provide information about recent criminal tax cases.
• To provide an overview of areas of concern for the IRS, including Malta pension plans
and syndicated conservation easement transactions, and the IRS’s criminal enforcement
focus on these transactions.
• To discuss recent developments in the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and how that might
impact the work of CI.

Moderator: Megan L. Brackney, Partner, Kostelanetz LLP


  • Guy Ficco, Deputy Chief, IRS Criminal Investigation
  • Richard T. Lunger, Deputy Division Counsel (Criminal Tax), Office of Chief Counsel, IRS
  • Rod J. Rosenstein, Partner, King & Spalding LLP

11:30 am – 12:30 pm (PST): Bryan C. Skarlatos moderates a panel titled “When You Know Something That The Government Does Not: Ethical Considerations In Keeping Your Civil Case From Going Criminal.”

Moderator: Bryan C. Skarlatos, Partner, Kostelanetz LLP


  • Jeffery Neiman, Partner, Marcus Neiman & Rashbaum LLP
  • Josh Ungerman, Partner, Meadows, Collier, Reed, Cousins, Crouch & Ungerman LLP
  • Zhanna Ziering, Member, Moore Tax Law Group LLC

2:45 pm – 3:45 pm (PST): Don Fort co-moderates a panel titled “Tax Enforcement Across Generations: Senior IRS Special Agents In Dialogue With Those Who Follow In Their Footsteps.”

Description: Understand how tax enforcement strategies, agent capabilities, and prosecuted cases have
evolved over 20 years through a dialogue between senior and new IRS special agents. Recognize
how the proliferation of digital data and analytical tools has impacted evidence gathering and
prosecutions. Appreciate how the IRS has adapted techniques to uncover complex global tax
avoidance. Gain insight on current enforcement priorities, challenges, and knowledge sharing
from direct experiences of senior and new special agents.

Learning Objectives:
• Gain perspective on how tax enforcement strategies have evolved over the past 20 years
based on insights from senior and new IRS agents.
• Understand how the proliferation of digital evidence has impacted IRS special agents’
investigative approaches and techniques.
• Recognize the value of knowledge sharing between senior and new IRS special agents to
enhance overall enforcement capabilities.


  • Don Fort, Director of Investigations, Kostelanetz LLP
  • Frank Agostino, President, Agostino & Associates PC


  • Panel of current and retired IRS Special Agents TBA

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm (PST): Caroline D. Ciraolo moderates a plenary session titled “How To Mentor Across Differences And Build A More Effective Tax Practice Through Diversity.”

Description: A recent McKinsey & Company study found that companies with diverse executives were 36%
more likely to report above-average profits. Moreover, diversity, equity, and inclusion in law
firms lead to increased critical thinking and advocacy skills, attract larger clients, and spurs
economic growth. Nonetheless, there has been a historical lack of diversity in tax practices
across the country. Recognizing this gap, tax professionals are striving to diversify their
organizations, and while there are methods – often financially driven – to recruit diverse
professionals, retaining those same professionals and building the next generation of diverse
leaders can be a challenge. The panelists will discuss how they and their respective organizations
are mentoring across differences to recruit, retain, and promote diverse practitioners and, in
doing so, build a more effective tax practice.

Learning Objectives:
• Understanding the benefits of diversity in the legal profession
• Understanding various types of diversity in the legal profession and obstacles faced by
diverse practitioners
• Identifying ways to cultivate sponsorships and mentorships for diverse practitioners
• Identifying ways to structure training and education on interrupting implicit bias and
other roadblocks
• Identifying ways to obtain and respond to meaningful feedback on DEI efforts

Moderator: Caroline D. Ciraolo, Partner, Kostelanetz LLP


  • David Farhat, Partner, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
  • Carlos Ortiz, Partner, BakerHostetler LLP
  • Melissa Wiley, Partner, Lowenstein Sandler LLP

Click here to register and for more information.