CAR-HIT-U personal injury lawyer in Oakland County convicted of hiding $2.6M on tax returns

Carl Collins III facing 5 counts of willfully filing false tax returns


SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – The well-known CAR-HIT-U personal injury lawyer with offices in Oakland County has been convicted for filing false tax returns for himself and one of his businesses.

Carl Collins III was convicted Wednesday (Nov. 16) of willfully filing five false tax returns. Collins has law offices in Southfield and owns a real estate company, First Third LLC, and two medical companies, MedCity Rehabilitation Services LLC and Alpha Living LLC.

Collins was convicted of filing false personal tax returns for 2012, 2015, and 2018. He also filed a false 2012 amended return and a false 2015 corporate return for Alpha Living, according to authorities.

At trial, evidence established that Collins failed to report about $600,000 of income he had earned in 2012. He deposited most of that money into an undisclosed IOLTA (Interest on Lawyers Trust Account) and concealed the deposits from his tax preparer, officials said.

IOLTA accounts are used by lawyers to hold money in trust for clients. Putting the money in that account allowed Collins to hide it from tax preparers and the IRS, according to federal officials.

On his personal return for 2015, Collins failed to report over $800,000 in income, authorities said. That included about $300,000 that had been deposited into another undisclosed IOLTA.

In total, evidence showed Collins failed to report over $2.6 million of income.

He is scheduled to be sentenced March 21 and faces a maximum penalty of three years in prison for each count of filing a false tax return. He also faces a period of supervised release, restitution, and fines.

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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.