Fraudulent Transfer,Alter Ego and Nominee

The United States District Court for the Western District of Washington ruled against the government in  United States of America v. Thomas Weathers, et al., Case No.: 3:18-cv-5189-BHS decided February 8, 2022 because the government failed to prove its alter ego and nominee claims by a preponderance of the evidence and failed to prove its fraudulent transfer claim by clear and satisfactory evidence. This case was commenced by the Government to reduce tax assessments to judgment and foreclose federal tax liens.  The Government alleged that three entities owned or controlled by the Weathers were their nominees or alter egos and that certain properties owned by the Weathers were transferred fraudulently for their purpose of avoiding the tax lien.  The Government simply got carried away on this claim. In part, the reason for that was because there were 8 other properties that the Government was successful in foreclosing through Summary Judgment Motion. In this case, however, the Court ruled that the taxpayers never had an ownership interest in the entity that owned the relevant property, they were never officers, never received personal benefit and the only funds flowing from the entity were for services that were legitimate.  There was no shifting of ownership from the Weathers to the entity/owner and no evidence of actual intent to hinder or delay.  This case details the factors of alter ego/nominee claims and fraudulent transfers carefully, then applies the facts of this case to those factors, clearly showing the Government fell far short of its burden to establish the claims.