August 31, 2021
As a founding partner of Crepeau Mourges, Brian’s mission is to provide thoughtful, clear, and cost-effective representation to his clients. This personal approach enables the client’s understanding of the challenges ahead and the potential strategies to resolve them.
As a seasoned tax attorney, Certified Public Accountant, and Certified Fraud Examiner, Brian has a unique and well-rounded understanding of the intricacies between law, accounting and business matters. This allows Brian to provide an informed course of action on matters that normally require multiple professionals to handle.
Brian concentrates primarily on federal and state tax controversy matters of individual and corporate taxpayers. He represents clients in all phases of administrative disputes before the Internal Revenue Service and the Comptroller of Maryland. He also litigates cases before the United States Tax Court.
Brian can provide litigation support and expert testimony in the areas of taxation, fraud, income analysis and business structures. Brian’s experience includes leading and conducting complex, high-stakes internal investigations.
As a certified FINRA Arbitrator, Brian also advises on disputes involving brokers, financial planners, and investment advisers.
- American University, Washington College of Law, J.D. (2003)
- Bridgewater State University, B.S. in Management Science-Accounting (1997)
- United States Tax Court
December 29, 2020
Mr. Mourges – a board certified tax attorney* – focuses his legal practice on the representation of individuals and businesses facing complex financial issues. Mr. Mourges has achieved significant success for domestic and international clients in civil matters involving the Internal Revenue Service and state and local taxing authorities, criminal investigations and enforcement actions pursued by the Department of Justice and state regulators, and financial disputes between businesses and competitors, vendors, owners, and employees. In addition, Mr. Mourges has provided sophisticated counsel to businesses in all phases of their life-cycle – from start-up, through growth phases, and in liquidation.
*Mr. Mourges has been board certified by The Florida Bar in the area of Tax Law. As stated by The Florida Bar, “Board certification is Florida’s official, independent determination of a lawyer’s expertise in a specialty field of law. It is the gold standard for Florida lawyers, representing a recognition by a lawyer’s peers that they have attained a level of professional expertise in their chosen fields…” and have been “Evaluated for Professionalism, Tested for Expertise.” As of December 2020, only 7% of eligible bar members have earned such certification.
Mr. Mourges differentiates his practice through his attention to detail, business and tax acumen, and his ability to quickly and comprehensively identify and react to the ever-evolving challenges facing his clients. Unlike other lawyers that may dwell on novel or academic legal issues, Mr. Mourges explains complex problems in a manner that is not only understandable, but also puts potential financial and legal risks and benefits squarely in context. As a result, clients are more involved in the process and can achieve the best result in their circumstances.
Prior to forming Crepeau Mourges, Mr. Mourges was a partner in both the tax controversy and criminal defense and investigations practices of Rosenberg Martin Greenberg, LLP, a business law firm in Baltimore, Maryland. Mr. Mourges is licensed to practice law in Maryland, Florida, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. He is a licensed Certified Public Accountant in Maryland, and is authorized to represent taxpayers nationwide and internationally before the Internal Revenue Service and United States Tax Court. Mr. Mourges holds degrees from The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania (B.S., Economics) and The University of Baltimore School of Law (J.D. and LL.M. in Taxation). He stands ready to assist clients in legal matters involving the following agencies, courts, and tribunals:
United States Tax Court
Maryland Tax Court
United States District Court (District of Maryland)
Maryland (all courts)
Florida (all courts)
Pennsylvania (all courts)
Virginia (all courts)
District of Columbia (all courts)
Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
Comptroller of Maryland
District of Columbia Office of Tax and Revenue (DC OTR)
Florida Department of Revenue (DOR)
Virginia Department of Tax
Pennsylvania Department of Revenue
State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT)
Department of Justice (DOJ)
Attorney General of Maryland
Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
Social Security Administration (SSA)
United States Department of Labor (DOL)
Department of Treasury
Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)
Maryland Department of Labor
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
Department of Treasury
Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)
Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN)
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)
United States Small Business Administration (SBA)
Department of Transportation
Audits of Retirement Plans/Coordinated Issue. Represented more than fifty companies in separate examinations of their profit-sharing plans by the IRS, each involving a novel transactional structure – Rollover Business Startup (ROBS). All audits were resolved with a “no change” and no finding of substantial plan or operational defects.
Audit Involving Bank Deposit Analysis/Unreported Income. Represented food distribution company and related entities in complex administrative appeal involving alleged unreported income, bank deposit analyses, intercompany transactions, and net operating loss carryforwards. Successfully negotiated a settlement reducing the proposed deficiency, exclusive of interest, from over $13.5 million to under $600,000.
Admissions and Amusement Tax. Represented business operating a significant number of sports clinics and leagues in the Baltimore/DC Area in an audit relating to admissions and amusement tax. Devised strategy for client to lobby to administration about application of regulations to sports-related businesses, resulting in reduction of assessment from over $450,000 to approximately $50,000.
Gambling Winnings and Losses. Represented multiple individuals with significant tax deficiencies resulting from unreported gambling proceeds. Resolved matters without any assessments by producing gaming information and substantiation associated offsetting losses.
Construction Company/Substantiation of Expenses. Represented owner of construction company with proposed deficiency of approximately $350,000. Devised strategy in Appeals that resulted in matter being resolved as a “no change” despite potential procedural issues.
Offer in Compromise. Represented individual owing more than $2,000,000 to the Internal Revenue Service for taxes, penalties, and interest on gains related to trades executed prior to economic collapse. After years without any resolution, successfully negotiated an Offer in Compromise for approximately $30,000.
Tax Preparer Injunction Action. Represented tax preparer in injunction action litigated by the Department of Justice relating to the preparation of more than 6,000 allegedly fraudulent returns. Negotiated consent injunction that allowed tax preparer to continue business operations with minimal oversight by neutral monitor and no fine.
Collection Due Process/Trust Fund Recovery Penalty. Represented business owner in Collection Due Process matter involving collection of over $300,000 in assessed trust fund recovery penalties. Developed novel strategy related to procedural defense based on failure to provide adequate notice and resolved matter with all assessments being withdrawn.
Structuring/Forfeiture. Represented individual criminally charged with money laundering through the use of structuring. Successfully negotiated a plea agreement excluding criminal charges for money laundering and limiting the amount of the forfeiture order relating to the alleged structuring activity.
Installment Agreements. Represented business owner owing nearly $10,000,000 in negotiation of multiple installment agreements with the Internal Revenue Service and mitigated effect of enforcement in light of dissipation of assets and continued compliance issues.
Unfiled Returns/Income Tax Appeal. Represented business owner with multiple businesses with significant number of unfiled returns that previously pleaded guilty to willful failure to file a tax return pursuant to I.R.C. § 7203. Successfully settled matter involving substantial number of intercompany “loans,” personal use issues, substantiation issues, and incriminating information from prior criminal case.
Information Reporting Penalties. Represented several large companies in matters involving substantial information reporting penalties proposed by the Internal Revenue Service for failure to properly report wages. Successfully used multiple administrative processes in order to obtain necessary information and to abate penalties in full.
Lien Foreclosure/Department of Justice. Represented individuals pursued by Department of Justice in collection litigation involving a significant number of delinquent tax returns and tax deficiencies resulting from Substitutes for Returns. Negotiated settlement through court-imposed mediation, which resulted in minimal financial consequences to the clients.
Statute of Limitations. Represented business owners convicted of federal tax crimes in strategic resolution of outstanding tax liabilities where client due to eventually receive substantial litigation settlement. Implemented strategy to cause the collection statute of limitations to expire and enable the client to receive all of the funds (where more than $1,000,000 was received and the amount would likely have been subject to levy).
FBARs/Voluntary Disclosure. Represented former United States resident and green card holder in matter involving significant amounts of unreported foreign financial accounts and transfers with international art dealing consortium. After mitigating criminal exposure through Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP), successfully employed strategy causing statute of limitations to expire and then directed opt out from OVDP. Strategy saved client millions of dollars in required payment under the OVDP.
International Reporting Penalties/Form 3520. Represented estate in matter involving failure to report foreign financial assets and transactions. After matter was resolved in related Tax Court litigation, Internal Revenue Service proposed to assess approximately $300,000 in penalties related to Form 3520. Among other arguments, successfully argued that principles of collateral estoppel and res judicata prevented a new, inconsistent position from being raised and the matter was dismissed on those grounds.
Non-Compliance with Foreign Tax Reporting. Represented and advised numerous clients in addressing obligations relating to the reporting of foreign financial assets and related income. While such cases are highly fact-specific, has provided deft counsel and explained risks and consequences of various strategies to bring taxpayers into compliance with tax laws and related filing and payment obligations. Such representations have included dealing with unfiled FBARs, Form 1040, Form 5471, Form 8938, Form 3520, Form 8621, and Form 8865.
Tax Litigation Involving Partnership. Represented tax matters partner and notice partner in complex TEFRA partnership matter involving numerous direct and indirect partners and disallowance of more than $20 million in deductions. Analyzed issues relating to underlying deductions and developed strategy relating to procedural defenses for partnership and related partners. Resolved matter without additional deficiency with respect to the partners involved.
Fraud Penalty/Unreported Income. Represented business owner and recently-convicted felon in Tax Court litigation matter involving substantial adjustments relating to alleged unreported income and fraud penalties, which stemmed from prior criminal matter where taxpayer pleaded guilty to white collar crimes. Identified procedural mistakes by opposing counsel and devised strategy to settle proposed deficiency of over $1,000,000 for under $100,000.
Innocent Spouse Relief. Represented individual in innocent spouse litigation where husband assessed with tax, interest, and penalties in excess of $1 million. Successfully settled the matter for complete relief from liability on behalf the client pursuant to I.R.C. § 6015(b).
Maryland Tax Court/Real Property Valuation. Represented purchaser of commercial property in valuation litigation with State Department of Assessments & Taxation. Developed strategy to contest errors in State’s “expert” appraisal and to include information relevant to actual value, despite failure of prior counsel to timely introduce such information. Strategy resulted in substantial reduction to assessed value after related appeal.
Real Property Tax Valuation Disputes. Represents taxpayers in matters involving disputes as to the assessed value of commercial properties. Employing significant knowledge of appraisal and valuation techniques, frequently able to achieve reductions in assessed value within the administrative appeals stages (i.e., without need for litigation) through advocacy of different valuation methodologies and facts specific to the property and related businesses.
Real Property Tax Exemption (Concessionaire). Assisted in Maryland Tax Court litigation involving lessee/fix-based operator at Maryland airport and application of property tax exemption for concessionaire. Successfully advocated for application of property tax statute based upon record ownership and matter was eventually dismissed by State Department of Assessments & Taxation.
Real Property Tax Exemption (Non-Profit). Assisted in Maryland Tax Court matter involving denial of property tax exemption for use of property adjacent to non-profit school. Successfully argued for exemption based on use as ancillary to operation of the school.
Department of Homeland Security/I-9 Audit. Represented company that employed a significant number of unauthorized workers. Implemented strategy to minimize financial costs of audit, provided counsel regarding worker verification requirements, and assisted in transition of workforce.
Advice Relating to Paycheck Protection Program. Advise clients on eligibility and loan forgiveness applications under the Paycheck Protection Program. Strategically plan to maximize loan forgiveness, to prepare for review by financial institutions, and to prepare responses for issues relating to affiliation, necessity, and other areas of concern.
Advice Relating to Employee Retention Credit. Advise clients on eligibility and maximization of credits available under the employee retention credit provisions from recent legislation. Employs understanding of interrelated programs and potential impacts of various COVID-19 shutdown orders to ensure potential eligibility and further credits are not overlooked.
Wage & Hour/FLSA Litigation. Defended clients in demands and litigation related to unpaid overtime and similar issues. Provided counsel to clients regarding potential exposure related to classes of workers treated improperly and settled matters without trial.
International Tax Planning and Compliance. Advised numerous clients and accountants on international tax planning issues and preparation of international tax returns, including Forms 5471, Forms 8865, Forms 3520, Forms 8621, Form 1040NR, and related forms, schedules, and computations. Provide counsel relating to U.S. and foreign subsidiaries, repatriation tax, and expatriation tax.
Private Letter Ruling Requests. Submitted requests relating to income tax deferral for foreign retirement accounts as well as late election for elective tax treatment for Passive Foreign Investment Companies.
Worker Classification. Successfully represented client in worker classification audit by arguing for application of Section 530 relief. Avoided related assessments for employment tax, income tax withholding, and unemployment insurance.
Audit of Disclosure through Streamlined Procedures. Advised pulmonologist in addressing prior errors in reporting of foreign business transactions and receipt of foreign inheritance, which involved substantial exposure to civil penalties. Successfully disclosed transactions and navigated subsequent examination and interviews, which resulted in no further assessment of penalties.
FIRPTA Guidance. Advised foreign and domestic clients on withholding obligations and related exemptions. Assisted in compliance and completion of applications for refund of significant amounts of taxes withheld.
Criminal Tax/Negotiation of Misdemeanor. Represented former government supervisor investigated for filing false income tax returns. Negotiated a misdemeanor plea to a single count of 26 U.S.C. § 7207. Successfully argued for a probationary sentence.
Negotiation of Criminal Tax Plea. Assisted in representation of oncologist investigated for filing false income tax returns resulting in a tax loss of more than $750,000. Client charged with a single violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7206(1) and court granted a downward variance, resulting in a sentence of probation with the condition of 12 months of home detention. Also assisted in subsequent proceedings relating to revocation of licensure.
Negotiation of Criminal Plea for Tax Preparer. Represented individual and related business investigated for preparation of hundreds of fraudulent tax returns resulting in loss of approximately $3 million to State of Maryland. Negotiated a plea agreement without any order of criminal restitution and resulted in incarceration of only three months.
Sentencing for Embezzlement from Non-Profit. Represented former government supervisor investigated for embezzlement and filing false income tax returns and amended income tax returns over a twelve-year period. Negotiated a two-count plea to violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343 and 26 U.S.C. § 7201. Successfully challenged government’s argument against grouping, resulting in a reduced advisory Guideline range of 27 to 33 months. Successfully argued for variance to a 15-month sentence with a recommended designation to a minimum-security satellite camp.
Business Litigation. Represented business owner in litigation against the management company. Conducted thorough forensic analysis of expenses, management fees, and other financial issues to prepare strategy for litigation. Successfully negotiated result in mediation where client was not required to pay any amounts sought by the management company due to offsets from contractual non-compliance by management company.
Derivative Suit/Internal Investigation. Assisted in representation of publicly-traded real estate investment trust in derivative action for alleged fiduciary violations of employees. Aided company in performing internal investigation and addressing derivative suit. Disposed of matter without trial and assisted in adoption and implementation of best practices to avoid future compliance issues.
Forensic Accounting. Represented large non-profit in internal investigation relating to defalcation of funds discovered after death of founder and long-term chief executive. Principally responsible for financial forensic analysis to track scope and means of misappropriation. Advised non-profit on responsibilities to address issues with various enforcement agencies and potential consequences to stakeholders.
Foreign Assets and Payments/OFAC. Represented antiterrorist expert regarding issues related to consulting contract commissioned by foreign leader. Advised client on issues related to proper reporting of foreign financial assets and transactions and provided assistance to counsel representing client with respect to ongoing investigation by Department of Justice.
Recognition of Excellence
Mr. Mourges has been frequently recognized for his achievements in the legal community. While with his prior firm, Mr. Mourges played a key role in the representation of indigent taxpayers on a pro bono basis and mentored up-and-coming lawyers at the University of Baltimore School of Law. Further, Mr. Mourges spent considerable time assisting in the implementation of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program at Fort Meade. In recognition of his team’s effort, they were awarded the J. Ronald Shiff Memorial Pro Bono Award by the Maryland State Bar Association in 2015.
For his continuing efforts in thought leadership advocating for his clients’ interests, Mr. Mourges has been recognized on Benchmark Litigation’s “40 & Under Hot List” multiple times in the fields of tax and white collar crime, has been recognized as a Rising Star by Super Lawyers, and received the “Readers’ Choice Top Author (Tax)” award from JD Supra in 2020. Mr. Mourges frequently speaks and publishes on areas impacting his clients and has been featured by the Tax Section of the Florida Bar, American Association of Attorney-CPAs (AAA-CPA), Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants (MACPA), Federal Bar Association (FBA), Maryland State Bar Association (MSBA), Anne Arundel Bar Association (AABA), Howard County Bar Association (HCBA), The Knowledge Group, Bloomberg News, and a number of trade associations and advocacy groups.
- The University of Baltimore School of Law, LL.M. in Taxation (2010)
- The University of Baltimore School of Law, J.D. (2009)
- The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, B.S. in Economics (2006)
- District of Columbia
- United States Court of Federal Claims
- United States Tax Court
- United States District Court, District of Maryland