Federal grand jury indicts seven people with conspiracy to defraud US and other crimes arising out of alleged syndicated conservation easement tax scheme; Land Trust Alliance presses Congress to pass Charitable Conservation Easement Program Integrity Act

Sample article from our Government & Public Policy

WASHINGTON , March 8, 2022 (press release) –

The Land Trust Alliance, a national land conservation organization working to save the places people need and love by strengthening land conservation across America, reacted today to news that a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging seven individuals with conspiracy to defraud the United States and other crimes arising out of their promotion of fraudulent tax shelters involving syndicated conservation easements. The following statement can be attributed to Andrew Bowman, president & CEO of the Land Trust Alliance:

“This criminal indictment and the allegations contained within it paint a picture of severe abuse of the federal tax incentive for conservation easement donations. For years, the Land Trust Alliance has urged Congress and federal agencies to halt this type of egregious abuse. And while we are heartened to see indictments filed, the most expedient and cost-effective solution is a legislative one.

“Criminal prosecutions like this highlight the need for Congress to pass the Charitable Conservation Easement Program Integrity Act as soon as possible. This bipartisan, bicameral bill would halt the abuse, protect a critical land conservation incentive and enact safeguards to protect American taxpayers from bad actors who have made millions turning conservation easement donations into profit opportunities.

“These egregious abuses of the tax code must stop. It is now on Congress to act.”

More information about this issue is available at landtrustalliance.org/charitable-conservation-easement-program-integrity-act-advocate-toolkit.

About the Land Trust Alliance

Founded in 1982, the Land Trust Alliance is a national land conservation organization that works to save the places people need and love by strengthening land conservation across America. The Alliance represents nearly 1,000 member land trusts supported by more than 250,000 volunteers and 6.3 million members nationwide. The Alliance is based in Washington, D.C., and operates several regional offices. More information about the Alliance is available at www.landtrustalliance.org.

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