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Florida men sentenced for white collar crimes, tax evasion

Failing to pay required taxes can expose a person to additional financial penalties imposed by the Internal Revenue Service as well as possible criminal charges. This is true whether the taxable income was the fruit of legal activity or not. Oftentimes, defendants alleged to have committed some type of fraud or other white collar crime may face charges of tax fraud or evasion.

This was the case for one Florida man and two other partners who pleaded guilty two months ago to charges of tax evasion, wire fraud and mail fraud. Prosecutors had alleged that the three men charged the horse racing facility at Calder Race Course for certain products and services that they did not in fact provide, amounting to approximately $3.5 million over the course of a decade. The men also apparently did not report this income to the IRS, resulting in the tax evasion charges.

This week, a judge handed down sentences to the three defendants, with the leader receiving the harshest penalty. He will serve a prison term of 57 months, while the other two men will serve terms of 33 and 13 months. All three have also been ordered to pay restitution--returning the money to its proper owners--totaling in the millions of dollars.

As this case illustrates, the consequences of a white collar conviction can be quite serious. In many instances, the prosecutors and law enforcement will have built a case against suspects for a significant length of time. But the law gives every criminal defendant rights, and it is vital that defendants know what options those rights provide in their case.

Source: The Miami Herald, "Crooked Calder track supervisor, sidekicks sent to prison," Adam H. Beasley, May 22, 2012.

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