Linda K. Haltom - Page 11

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         number of examples from caselaw to help us decide where on the               
         spectrum the case before us lies.                                            
              That precedent points us to a few key factors:  (a) the                 
         spouse’s education level; (b) her involvement in the family’s                
         business and financial affairs; (c) the presence of lavish or                
         unusual expenditures as compared to the family’s past income                 
         levels, income standards, and spending patterns; and (d) the                 
         culpable spouse’s evasiveness and deceit concerning the couple’s             
         finances.  Butler, 114 T.C. at 284.                                          
              We note first that Linda’s education ended with high school.            
         Unlike her husband, she has taken neither college nor business               
         classes.  The Commissioner argues that she continued her                     
         education through life experience by running Dela’s Demos, but               
         this was a part-time job where she set up tables and passed out              
         samples at grocery stores.  Nothing from that job could                      
         conceivably have provided her with the financial sophistication              
         to suspect that her husband may have been embezzling money and               
         hiding some of it offshore.                                                  
              The second factor is Linda’s involvement in the family’s                
         financial affairs.  Both parties agree that she paid for most of             
         the everyday expenses out of her checking account and thus                   
         certainly had some general awareness of her family’s financial               
         situation.  The Commissioner argues that Linda’s habit of picking            
         up the mail from the post office each day meant that she should              

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Last modified: May 25, 2011