In October 2019, James Roy McDaniel, 66, of Long Beach, a former tax and estate-planning lawyer pleaded guilty to one count of tax evasion.A federal judge sentenced McDaniel to 60 months in federal prison. McDaniel also has to pay back $1.54 million. McDaniel, a licensed California lawyer from 1981 until 2004, pleaded guilty to one felony count of subscribing to a false income tax return.
In 2005, McDaniel got three years in federal prison for failing to report income – $1.6 million embezzled from his law firm clients – resulted in a tax loss of $677,368 to the federal government. The IRS subsequently assessed McDaniel more than $1.4 million in taxes, interest and penalties for the tax years 1997 through 2001. The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office prosecuted McDaniel for grand theft in that matter and he was sentenced to two years in state prison.
After his convictions in the previous cases, McDaniel willfully attempted to evade paying his debt to the IRS by creating two shell companies – Davis Bell Consulting LLC and James Roy Consulting LLC – where he directed payments for tax and estate planning consulting work he performed after he was released from prison. Between May 2008 and late 2018, McDaniel tried to mislead federal tax authorities and conceal his income by directing other people to sign documents identifying themselves as the sole managing members of the shell companies. McDaniel directed them to open bank accounts where he deposited checks for his tax and estate planning work.