Bankruptcy attorney charged with federal tax crimes

Bankruptcy attorney charged with federal tax crimes

By Darcy Spears. CREATED Sep 19, 2012

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- We've all seen his TV ads promising to help people avoid financial trouble, but now, that's exactly what Randolph Goldberg himself is in.

The trouble comes in the form of a federal indictment for tax evasion. Multiple counts over multiple years involving more than a million dollars.  As a result, a warrant has been issued for his arrest.

The U.S. Attorney says Goldberg, who has a masters degree in tax law and holds himself out to the public as a financial expert, is keeping secrets from the IRS. Secrets to make himself richer with the money he makes from clients who are bankrupt.

The indictment alleges that between 2005-2008, Goldberg "filed false and fraudulent individual income tax returns."

He allegedly used two separate Bank of America accounts to deposit the legal fees he got from his clients and to deduct expenses, but he only reported the income in one of the accounts.

And to further avoid paying taxes, he's accused of structuring 147 cash deposits into five Bank of America accounts totaling more than $1.1 million.

Goldberg is charged with a total of nine counts. If convicted, he faces up to thirty years in prison, and fines up to $2.25 million dollars.

But the tax evasion charges are just the latest in a string of legal trouble for Goldberg.

We began following Goldberg back in October, 2009 in U.S. Bankruptcy court. That's where we met clients Susan Goodman and Eileen and Larry Pondell.

"You, I, the Pondells, whoever went bankrupt with Randolph Goldberg, you made him a very rich man," Goodman told Contact 13 outside the courthouse in October, 2009.

Goldberg is facing possible sanctions due his handling of the Goodman and Pondell cases. That matter has been before the court for almost three years and  is still awaiting judgment.

"Somebody has to stop this man," Goodman said in 2009.  "He is a menace to the community and an embarrassment to be called an attorney."

Goldberg was previously sanctioned in March, 2009 in another client's bankruptcy case. A judge found he acted negligently and intentionally in bad faith. He was sanctioned for violating duties to that client, the public, the legal system and the profession... And received a public reprimand.

Larry Pondell said that wasn't enough.

"We specifically chose him because he promised us, he looked us in the eye and promised to help us.  We trusted him and he betrayed that trust far beyond anything I could ever believe," Pondell said in October, 2009.

Pondell is also part of a group of more than a dozen clients who are involved in an ongoing disciplinary hearing with Goldberg before the Nevada State Bar.

"Our life is worse now than before we went to see him in the beginning," Pondell said in 2009.  "And nobody should have to go through that!  Absolutely nobody!  And then pay him for it!"

The state's complaint accuses Goldberg of misconduct and incompetence. The hearing began last week and continues in October. The State Bar will also be monitoring the criminal tax evasion case, because if Goldberg is convicted, they have to report it to the Supreme Court for possible additional discipline against his law license.

"He needs to be taken out of the system," Pondell said in 2009.  "People come to him because they are in trouble.  They need help."

Goldberg has declined to comment on the court case or the State Bar case until judgment is rendered.

When Contact 13 called his office today about the tax evasion indictment, he had a staff member call back to say he's hired Attorney David Chesnoff and will be pleading not guilty.

Darcy Spears

Darcy Spears

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Darcy Spears is currently the Chief Investigative Reporter for Action News.