U.S. v. Trevino
US v. Trevino, No. 02-10545 (1-18-05). This is a tax conspiracy/failure tofile appeal. The taxpayer and the tax preparer were in cahoots over listing thetaxable income. The tax preparer was investigator, plead guilty, and turned onthe tax payer. She offered up an "ignorance" defense (I didn't know) and onappeal, claims she should have received an instruction for a "good faithdefense." She didn't present the facts to support it. On the other hand, thegov't submitted an instruction that stated that it was a rebuttal presumptionthat a signed tax returns meant the tax payer knew what was in it. Thismisstates the law. It was error, but harmless. In dissent, Tashima would findthat it wasn't harmless because the jury verdict was unclear on whether it foundguilt relying on that presumption. He'd reverse counts one and three.