A Lake Forest man that authories say has a tax liability of nearly $4 million is behind bars after his Friday arrest in Ramona.
Louis Joseph Vadino, 70, was indicted by a federal grand jury Wednesday on charges of tax evasion and lying to the Internal Revenue Service, according to a news release from the agency.
The indictment alleges that Vadino used foreign companies and offshore bank accounts to avoid paying taxes dating back to 1999 to the IRS.
From 1998 to 2007, Vadino formed three foreign companies in the British Virgin Islands and another in Panama to hold title to properties and open foreign bank accounts, the indictment alleges. To avoid paying taxes, he hid the nature and location of the companies from the IRS, lied to agents, put money and property in others' names and used offshore accounts to place funds and property beyond the reach of process of the IRS, according to the indictment.
Vadino also bought five residential properties in Lake Forest for more than $1.8 million for himself, his mother, and his three daughters to live in between June 1999 and March 2002, according to the IRS.
By 2006, tax agents were attempting to collect from Vadino nearly $4 million in tax, penalties and interest, according to the agency.
After the IRS began looking into Vadino's tax debt, the indictment alleges, he transferred four of the properties into his daughter’s name, sold one of the properties and refinanced three others. This sent approximately $2 million to a Greek bank account in which Vadino was the sole signatory, the agency reported.
He also went through offshore bank accounts to buy property, trucks and make mortgage payments on the Lake Forest residences to the tune of about $1.6 million, according to the indictment.
A trial is scheduled for July 31.