A federal grand jury has indicted a Utah attorney for trying to impede income tax laws and for failing to file income tax returns.

An indictment handed up Wednesday states Thomas T. Wood, 66, of Salt Lake City conducted business for himself and others using a network of domestic bank accounts, offshore credit card accounts and local individuals in order to hide income and assets. Among others involved in the alleged actions was the MyCor Investment Club, which has been identified by federal officials as a Ponzi scheme operated out of Canada.

Wood is charged with one count of corrupt endeavor to impede the administration of the tax code between 1998 and 2001 and one count of failure to file federal income tax returns for 2000 and 2001. If convicted, Wood faces up to five years in federal prison and a $450,000 fine. Although Wood lives in Utah, federal officials say he is not a member of the Utah State Bar.

"Mr. Wood's case is troubling because it involves the legal profession," said U.S. Attorney for Utah Brett Tolman. "This prosecution is important in helping to protect and promote the integrity of income tax laws by discouraging others from ignoring or circumventing their obligations."

IRS Special Agent in Charge J. Wesley Eddy said the case should send a message that "trying to escape one's tax obligations just isn't worth it."

Wood has been issued a summons to appear in federal court.


E-mail: gfattah@desnews.com