He admitted to helping another lawyer evade taxes on income from a tobacco company settlement.
A former attorney in Illinois was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for assisting another lawyer in evading taxes on income received from a multibillion-dollar legal settlement with tobacco companies.
Edward R. Vrdolyak, 82, of Chicago, pleaded guilty to one count of tax evasion. Vrdolyak admitted in a plea agreement that he assisted another lawyer, Daniel P. Soso, in evading federal income taxes on income from a $9.2 billion settlement between the State of Illinois and a number of tobacco companies in the 1990s. At the time of the settlement, Vrdolyak and Soso were licensed Illinois attorneys. The pair collected legal fees from the settlement pursuant to agreements with one of the attorneys that represented the State of Illinois. According to these agreements, Vrdolyak made payments to Soso between 2000 and 2005 of approximately $1.9 million, representing Soso’s agreed-upon share of the fees from the litigation.
In August 2005, the IRS served a notice of levy on Vrdolyak, which required the turnover of all salary, wages and other amounts owed to Soso. Over the next two years, Vrdolyak received approximately $262,854 due to Soso, but he concealed receipt of these funds from the IRS, knowing such concealment would assist Soso in evading the payment of taxes and assessments. Vrdolyak admitted in the plea agreement that he later caused approximately $170,242 to be paid to Soso instead of remitting the funds to the IRS.
Soso, of Alsip, Illinois, also pleaded guilty to tax evasion. He was sentenced to two years in prison.