Oakland County attorney found not guilty after client accused him of stealing $6.5 million

Jeffrey Freeman acquitted on tax evasion, wire fraud charges

A gavel in a courtroom. (Photo by EKATERINA BOLOVTSOVA)

BIRMINGHAM, Mich. – A tax attorney from Oakland County who was accused of wiring $6.5 million of his client’s money to a Swiss bank account has been found not guilty of all charges.

Jeffrey Freeman, a lawyer in Birmingham, was acquitted Tuesday (Oct. 25) on all counts. A jury found him not guilty of tax evasion and two counts of wire fraud.

Freeman had been contacted in 2012 by a Canadian woman who previously owned a cosmetics business in Las Vegas, according to an indictment filed July 7. Court records said the woman had owned the business from 2000-2002, and she later learned that during that time she racked up significant tax debt.

In 2012, she found out that the IRS was investigating her tax situation, so she hired Freeman to help her resolve the issue, according to authorities.

IRS payment

In November 2012, the woman said she wired about $15 million to an attorney trust account Freeman had opened at Citizens Bank in Bloomfield Hills, court records said. Freeman was instructed to use that money to resolve the IRS issue, according to officials.

Authorities said Freeman paid the IRS about $8,409,301, which is what the woman owed for the tax years 2000-2002. Part of the accusation was that this payment didn’t resolve penalties and interest sought by the IRS.

In February 2013, the IRS deemed the penalties and interest on the woman’s tax debt “uncollectable,” the indictment said. That amount totaled about $3.4 million, officials said.

“Eventually, the IRS wrote off penalties and interest altogether on (her) tax debt,” court documents said.

Officials accused of Freeman wiring $2 million of the woman’s remaining funds to a bank account in Switzerland. He was accused of wiring an additional $4.5 million to that same bank around October 2013.

In 2019, the woman’s bank asked for IRS transaction documents, and she saw records that prompted her to sue Freeman, she said. That lawsuit has now ended with a jury finding Freeman not guilty.

Freeman was also accused of failing to report the $6.5 million on his tax return, but was acquitted of that charge, as well.

About the Author:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.