U.S. Eleventh Circuit - The FindLaw 11th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

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11th Cir. Affirms Convictions Against 'Kingdom of Heaven' Tax Cheat

The Eleventh Circuit affirmed a lower federal district's conviction of Ronald Francis Croteau who was convicted of several tax crimes in 2015. It seems to be the end of the line as far as appeals go for the self-proclaimed "Ambassador to the Kingdom of Heaven."

Croteau plied his magic touch to filing ten fraudulent tax returns between 2008 and 2010 -- with claimed refunds totaling more than $3.8 million.

11th Cir. SCOTUS Grants: Fish Shrinkage, Cell Tower, Railroad Tax

We could start with cell towers disguised as trees. Or railroad fuel tax. But no, the case we really want to talk about, and the first case out of the Eleventh Circuit that will be argued this year, is the "One fish, two fish, red fish, short fish" case, where a guy, who was debating the size of his red grouper, tossed the fish overboard and was prosecuted under a banking statute (Sarbanes-Oxley) for destroying the evidence.

Only then will the Court will get to the Monopine, and what a city must do to keep these man-made mockeries of nature out of their neighborhood. And after that? Whether Alabama can gouge rail carriers for a sales-and-use tax while exempting trucks and boats.

Miccosukee Tribe Can't Use Tribal Sovereign Immunity in IRS Case

Indian tribes are required by law to deduct and withhold income taxes from gambling revenues paid to Indian tribe members. They’re also subject to backup withholding and reporting requirements.

This week, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals held that tribes cannot use tribal sovereign immunity to avoid a federal investigation into whether they complied with those tax obligations.

Of all the appeals, in all the circuits, in all the country, the Supreme Court chose theirs.

Perhaps that's because the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals was the only appellate court to strike the individual mandate last year.

Like-Kind Exchange Tax Issue, and Criminal Matter

Ocmulgee Fields, Inc. v. Comm'r of Int'l. Rev., No. 09-13395, involved a petition for review of the tax court's determination that the taxpayer's like-kind exchange that interposed an intermediary between itself and a related party was not entitled to nonrecognition treatment.  The court affirmed on the ground that the record adequately supported the tax court's finding that the taxpayer structured its transactions to avoid the purposes of 26 U.S.C. section 1031(f).

Equity Inv. Partners, LP v. Lenz, No. 09-11887

In an action to foreclose defendants' mortgage and to establish the priority of plaintiff's security interest over a federal tax lien, summary judgment for the IRS is vacated where plaintiff was not required to show that the parties contemplated future execution of a security agreement at the time the loans were issued.  Rather, to show past consideration, plaintiff needed to present evidence that the security agreement was executed for the purpose of repaying the loans.

Read Equity Inv. Partners, LP v. Lenz, No. 09-11887

Appellate Information

Filed February 1, 2010


Opinion by Judge Cox

Kurtz v. Comm'r. of Int'l. Rev., No. 08-15209

In a tax court petition challenging an IRS deficiency notice issued to petitioner based on improper deductions, the Tax Court's order denying the petition is affirmed where no federal law requires food or beverages to be provided to seamen aboard a fishing vessel.

Read Kurtz v. Comm'r. of Int'l. Rev., No. 08-15209

Appellate Information

Filed July 23, 2009


Opinion by Judge Quist