How do you hide $2 billion? (Apparently you don't)

Robert Brockman, the CEO of software company Reynolds and Reynolds Co., was charged with tax evasion, wire fraud, money laundering, and other offenses after it was discovered he hid $2 billion in capital gains income for decades through various offshore entities in Nevis1 and Bermuda. He also maintained secret bank accounts in Bermuda and Switzerland. This is the largest-ever tax charge against an individual in the United States.2

Initially, Brockman was cooperating with the investigation. But in December 2020, Brockman's attorneys announced that despite the fact that he was running a multibillion dollar software company up until November 2020, he is suffering from extreme dementia which prevents him from standing trial.3

They argue that his condition has weakened his intelligence to the point that he recently scored an 87 on an IQ test. They also allege that he suffers from hallucinations, and as evidence they recounted a story where Brockman saw an insect on the floor that no one else saw.

Prosecutors are skeptical. They note that the claims of dementia align with the timeline of the investigation, and the doctors he saw regarding the dementia diagnosis were part of Baylor College of Medicine (to which he has donated tens of millions of dollars). One of Brockman's associates told him about a Baylor doctor whom he described as "a strong barrier against an attack from the IRS."

The investigation into Brockman stemmed from allegations that he evaded taxes on the profits from investments in private-equity funds managed by Vista Equity Partners, billionaire Robert Smith's firm. Smith recently paid $139 million in back taxes to avoid prosecution for evading tax from 2005 through 2014.

1 It's next to Saint Kitts

BLAST FROM THE PAST: San Franciscans Threatened With Jail Time for Not Wearing Masks Properly

"'Camouflaged' wearing of influenza masks was banned today by the police, with threats of arrest as the penalty. In other words, women are not to be allowed to wear heavy veils instead of masks, and men who allow their masks to hang over their chins while they are going through the streets smoking are to be arrested. This was announced today by Dr. William C. Hassler, city health officer, after a conference with Chief of Police D.A. White. ... Meanwhile Arthur H. Barendt, president of the Board of Health, announced that no action will be taken by the board at its meeting late today toward the reopening of theaters and schools. ... He said: 'We are not even going to consider opening the churches and schools until the epidemic has been completely and positively stamped out. Just when that will be I cannot say now. It will be at least two weeks more.'" — San Francisco Call and Post, November 7, 1918

Reprinted with permission from California Taxpayers Association's CalTaxletter Vol. XXXIV, No. 6. For more information, visit

Acronym multiplication

Because one acronym is never enough, like cells dividing, the CAA (Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021) split into two more, the ACRRA and the TCDTRA.

The ACRRA (which we renamed Acronyms Cause Raging Recurrent Anger in the first issue of this year's Tribune) is the Additional Coronavirus Response and Relief Act, which in a nutshell reopened the PPP loan program with new second draw loans and supplemental funding for original PPP loans.

Its sister act is the TCDTRA, Taxpayers Can Determine Their Remittance Amounts, which allows all taxpayers to pay only what they can afford on any taxes, penalties, and interest accrued and due to the IRS in 2020 because of COVID-19. (JK (just kidding!))

Actually, it stands for the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020, and among other things, it modifies, expands, and extends the Employee Retention Credit (ERC!), provides tax incentives for energy production, and provides disaster tax relief.

Almost two months have passed since the CAA of 2021 was signed into law, and at the rate of acronym multiplication, we're due for some new ones. In the meantime, keep sending us your suggestions whether or not they're fit to print — because we'll enjoy them even if we can't pass them along.

A few fun facts about this week's writers:

Kathryn Zdan, EAKathryn Zdan, EA, spends her non-Spidell hours on photography and watching horror films (and then sleeping with the light on). She also enjoys hiking, biking, and walks with her ancient Jindo, Mango.

Diane FullerDiane Fuller loves to read, cook, and go to Ketchum/Sun Valley, Idaho, as many times as possible during the year with her family including grandkids and dogs.

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