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Lawyer sentenced for helping Phoenix businessmen in tax-fraud case

PHOENIX -- A California attorney who pleaded guilty to helping two Phoenix businessmen hide millions of dollars in Swiss bank accounts has been sentenced to 10 months in prison.

Federal prosecutors said Christopher M. Rusch, of Los Angeles, was sentenced Tuesday for one count of conspiracy to defraud the government and failing to file a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts.

Authorities said he was hired by Stephen M. Kerr and Michael Quiel to sell more than 11 million shares of stock held in the name of a foreign entity controlled by Kerr.

Prosecutors said Rusch then transferred money into hidden accounts and that he assisted Kerr and Quiel in failing to report more than $6 million in income in 2007 and 2008.

Kerr and Quiel were sentenced last June.

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