Tax Shelter Litigation
On March 26, 2020, Ed Rappaport and co-counsel, Loewinsohn Flegle Deary Simon LLP (LFDS), filed a class action complaint in Andrew Lechter, et al. v. Aprio, LLP, et al., in the Northern District of Georgia. The subject of the suit is a racketeering conspiracy among law firms and accounting firms in the structure and promotion of Syndicated Conservation Easements. Conservation Easements are typically a landowner’s dedication of a part or all of a parcel of land towards some presumably conservational purpose such as preservation of wetlands. In the Lechter Class Action, the claims against the conservation easement promoter defendants allege that the Syndicated Conservation Easements were pre-packaged, pre-arranged, and involved promoters’ and appraisers’ intent on deceiving not only the Plaintiffs and the members of the Class, but also the Internal Revenue Service. Ed and the LFDS team intend to aggressively seek to recover against the promoters and professional advisors that recommended the Syndicated Conservation Easements to innocent purchasers. For further reference, the IRS has addressed Syndicated Conservation Easements in Notice 2017-10 (12-27-2016). The Department of Justice has previously sued to shut down certain syndicated conservation easement tax shelter promoters in United States v. Nancy Zak, et al. https://www.justice.gov/opa/press-release/file/1121451/download
Click for a copy of the filed complaint: https://www.bloomberglaw.com/public/desktop/document/LechteretalvAprioLLPetalDocketNo120cv01325NDGaMar262020CourtDocke?1589551810
Notable Publications and Presentations
- Speaker: “Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017- What the Estate Planner Needs to Know,” Atlanta Bar Association, Estate Planning & Probate Section, February 2018.
- Speaker: “Asset Protection and Tax Planning,” a presentation to Hoffman Financial Corporation, April 2017.
- Speaker: “Tax and Other Legal Considerations for Professional Athletes,” panel member at the North American Law Summit on Tax and Legal Considerations for Professional Athletes, Cancun, Mexico, November 2016.
- Speaker: “Tax Considerations for Athletes and Entertainers,” Lecture to Sports and Entertainment Section of State Bar of Georgia, 2014 – Present.
- Author and Publisher: “Principles of Asset Protection Planning,” chapter in Financial Planning for Physicians and Healthcare Professionals, Harcourt Professional Publishing, an updated version, 2003.
- Author: “Principles of Asset Protection Planning” chapter in Financial Planning for Physicians and Healthcare Professionals, Harcourt Professional Publishing, 2001.
- Co-author: “The Impact of Valuation Discounts on Estate and Income Tax Basis” Estate Planning magazine, 1997.
Selected Honors and Awards
State Bar of Georgia, 1989 – Present: Tax Section, Sports & Entertainment Section; Atlanta Bar Association, Tax Section, Estate Planning & Probate Section; North Atlanta Tax Council, Past President; Sports Lawyers Association. Admitted to practice, United States Tax Court.