Tax Fraud: David W. Schwarz Sentenced For Conspiracy, Bank Fraud and Tax Offenses

Former Cay Clubs Chief Financial Officer Sentenced to 40 Years in Prison for Conspiracy, Bank Fraud and Tax Offenses

The former Chief Financial Officer of Cay Clubs Resorts and Marinas (Cay Clubs) was sentenced to 40 years in prison, after having been previously convicted by a federal jury of conspiracy, bank fraud, and tax offenses.

Benjamin G. Greenberg, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Kelly R. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), and Timothy Mowery, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Housing Finance Agency, Office of Inspector General (FHFA-OIG), made the announcement.

David W. Schwarz, 60, of Orlando, was previously convicted at trial of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, in violation of Title18 ,United States Code, Section 1349, two counts of bank fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section1344, and one count of interference with the administration of the IRS, in violation of Title 26, United States Code, Section 7212(a). Chief U.S. District Judge K. Michael Moore, sitting in Key West, sentenced Schwarz to 40 years in prison. Judge Moore found that the criminal conduct resulted in $303 million in fraudulent proceeds and approximately $170 million in victim losses. A restitution hearing has been set for July 10, 2017, in Key West.

According to evidence at trial, Schwarz was the Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Cay Clubs, which operated purported luxury resorts in the Florida Keys, Clearwater, Orlando, Las Vegas, and elsewhere. Between 2004 and 2008, Cay Clubs grew to more than 1,000 employees and became one of the largest employers in the Florida Keys. Schwarz, who was the one-third owner, and Fred Davis Clark, Jr., a/k/a Dave Clark, who was the two-thirds owner, began Cay Clubs in 2004 with fraudulent sales of Cay Clubs units to insiders, using money from Cay Clubs bank accounts to fund the cash to close for purchases, while obtaining mortgage financing from lending institutions. These fraudulent sales were used in marketing materials to falsely show demand for Cay Clubs units and to inflate prices, as Cay Clubs was in reality purchasing units from itself. Proceeds of these sales were diverted to Schwarz and Clark.

Trial evidence established that Cay Clubs raised more than $300 million from approximately 1,400 investors, who purchased units in Cay Clubs developments. Schwarz and Clark failed to remodel the dilapidated properties as they promised investors, while taking millions of dollars out of the company for their own benefit. During the operation of Cay Clubs from 2004 through 2008, Schwarz and Clark diverted more than $30 million in proceeds for themselves, including millions of dollars in cash transfers that were used to purchase property and other businesses, including a gold mine, a rum distillery, aircraft, and a coal reclamation business.

Trial evidence further showed that as Cay Clubs faced dwindling sales due to its failure to upgrade the dilapidated properties in 2006, Schwarz, Clark, and others engaged in additional fraudulent sales of Cay Clubs units to insiders, including Clark’s family members. These mortgage loans were used to prevent Cay Clubs from defaulting on commercial debts. The documents used to obtain these mortgages included falsified signatures and notary attestations, and had Cay Clubs acting as the seller while Schwarz provided the cash to close so that mortgage loans could be obtained to fund the sales.

During the course of this scheme, Schwarz and Clark did not file any corporate tax return for $74 million in income generated by the Cay Clubs entities. Furthermore, neither Schwarz or Clark filed any individual tax return for these years until after an investigation of Cay Clubs by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). In 2010 and 2011, Schwarz filed false individual tax returns for tax years 2004, 2005 and 2006, respectively, in which he substantially underreported his income for these tax years and concealed his receipt of millions of dollars in proceeds.

On December 11, 2015, Dave Clark, 59, formerly a resident of Tavernier, was convicted by a federal jury in connection with related bank fraud charges and obstruction of the SEC. He was sentenced on February 21, 2016, to 40 years in prison by U.S. District Judge Jose E. Martinez. Former Cay Clubs sales executives Barry Graham, 59, and Ricky Lynn Stokes, 54, both formerly of Ft. Myers, previously pled guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud in related cases and were sentenced to 60 months, and 30 months, respectively.

Mr. Greenberg commended the investigative efforts of the IRS-CI and FHFA-OIG, and the extensive assistance of the SEC’s Miami Regional Office. This matter was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jerrob Duffy, James V. Hayes, and Alison Lehr.

Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

Original PressReleases…
Former Cay Clubs Chief Financial Officer Sentenced to 40 Years in Prison for Conspiracy, Bank Fraud and Tax Offenses
The former Chief Financial Officer of Cay Clubs Resorts and Marinas (Cay Clubs) was sentenced to 40 years in prison, after having been previously convicted by a federal jury of
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Tax Fraud: U.S Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia List Of Tax Fraud Sentenced

Even Though Tax Day is behind us, a Reminder to be Vigilant about Tax Fraud

ATLANTA – The deadline for individuals to file their tax returns passed yesterday. Most will breathe a sigh of relief that their tax returns were filed on time. However, some may encounter an unexpected impediment – an unscrupulous return preparer who took advantage of them, or their identity was stolen and a tax refund has already been claimed in their name by a thief.

The U.S Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia, along with IRS-Criminal Investigations and other law enforcement partners, is actively engaged in combating tax preparing cheats and identity thieves. The following cases highlight some of the work done by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and its law enforcement partners in recent months relating to tax fraud.

Frazier B. Todd, Jr., Cozzie Walker and Roberta Sheffield

Frazier B. Todd, Jr. was sentenced to eighteen years, six months in prison on March 29, 2017, in connection with his conviction for preparing over $5.5 million in fraudulent tax returns on behalf of clients. Todd was found guilty following a four-day jury trial in December, 2016. Todd owned and operated Diverse Resource Business and Tax Firm in Union City, Georgia, along with Cozzie Walker and Robert Sheffield. Walker and Sheffield were also charged in the case and previously pleaded guilty.

“Mr. Todd represents a small but very harmful segment of the tax return preparation industry that takes advantage of our tax system,” said U.S. Attorney John Horn. “By falsely claiming that his clients were entitled to the American Opportunity Tax Credit and other tax credits, Todd and other fraudulent return preparers like him cause real financial damage to the government’s fiscal health and our economy as a whole. We urge the citizens in our district to be careful about who they entrust with the preparation of their tax returns.”

“IRS Criminal Investigation has a zero-tolerance policy for refund fraud. Return Preparer fraud is a top priority for the agency and our special agents work year round to bring return preparers who lack integrity and engage in illegal activities to justice,” said James Dorsey, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Atlanta Field Office. “The prison time received by Frazier Todd and his co-conspirators should serve as a strong warning that tough punishments await those who embark on a similar criminal path.”

According to U.S. Attorney Horn, the charges and other information presented in court: Todd conspired with Cozzie Walker and Roberta Sheffield to exploit the American Opportunity Tax Credit (“AOTC”), a refundable tax credit for certain college expenses such as tuition and related costs. Marketing the AOTC as a “stimulus” available to almost anyone, Todd and his business partners prepared false tax returns for thousands of clients, many of whom were disabled, elderly, or low-income.

Todd was also convicted for a much broader fraud scheme in which he exploited not only the AOTC but other tax credits as well to maximize his clients’ refunds. For example, he filed dozens of corporate tax returns falsely claiming that the businesses purchased tens of thousands of gallons of gasoline for “off-highway business use,” and were entitled to the Fuel Tax Credit. He also falsely claimed that clients had installed solar panels on their homes in order to claim the Residential Energy Credit, which is designed for taxpayers who make green energy upgrades to their homes.

On December 8, 2016, a jury found Todd guilty of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, obstructing the internal revenue laws, and ten counts of presenting false claims for refund to the IRS. Cozzie Walker pleaded guilty on March 2, 2016, to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. Roberta Sheffield pleaded guilty on March 21, 2016, to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, and 14 counts of presenting false claims for refund to the IRS.

During his sentencing hearing before U.S. District Court Judge Mark H. Cohen, Todd, 58, of Atlanta, Georgia, was ordered to serve eighteen years, six months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, and pay restitution to the IRS in the amount of $3,631,466. Judge Cohen stated that the conduct of Todd and his co-conspirators was “an abuse of the tax credit system” in this country. The sentencings of Cozzie Walker, 42, of Atlanta, Georgia, and Roberta Sheffield, 43, also of Atlanta, Georgia, are scheduled for May 16, 2017, before Judge Cohen.

Assistant United States Attorneys Lynsey M. Barron and Steven D. Grimberg prosecuted the case.

Tauya Muteke

Frazier Todd, Jr. is not the first return preparer to be sentenced to prison this year. On January 9, 2017, Tauya Muteke, 35, of Douglasville, Georgia, was sentenced to four years, nine months in prison, followed by one year of supervised release, after a jury convicted him on August 19, 2016, on two counts of preparing and filing false income tax returns and one count of failure to appear for trial. Muteke owned and operated Icon Tax Service, a tax preparation business located in Norcross, Georgia. According to U.S. Attorney Horn, the charges and other information presented in court: Muteke prepared and filed tax returns that made up businesses and falsified business expenses to make it appear as if the businesses had lost money, resulting in larger refunds for his clients. Muteke was originally scheduled to go to trial in March 2010, but three weeks before his trial date Muteke fled to Johannesburg, South Africa, and did not return to the United States for five years. He was arrested upon his return on July 13, 2015.

Assistant United States Attorneys Bernita B. Malloy and Christopher C. Bly prosecuted the case.

Kim A. Earlycutt, Shannon King and Marcia Farmer

The United States Attorney’s Office is also actively prosecuting numerous tax fraud cases. For example, on March 1, 2017, Kim A. Earlycutt, 54, of Covington, Georgia, and Shannon King, 37, of Lithonia, Georgia were indicted by a federal grand jury in the Northern District of Georgia and charged with conspiracy and filing false claims with the United States. In a related case, Marcia Farmer, 50, of Snellville, Georgia, pled guilty to a criminal information charging her with conspiracy to file false claims on October 28, 2016. According to U.S. Attorney Horn, the charges and other information presented in court: the three alleged co-conspirators obtained identity documents of foreign nationals, which they then used to manufacture and file false and fraudulent tax claim forms. These fraudulent tax returns were submitted to the IRS, resulting in more than $5 million in fraudulent refunds being paid.

Members of the public are reminded that the indictment against Earlycutt and King only contains charges. The defendants are presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendants’ guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher H. Huber is prosecuting these cases.

All of the above cases were investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation.

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.
Even Though Tax Day is behind us, a Reminder to be Vigilant about Tax Fraud
ATLANTA – The deadline for individuals to file their tax returns passed yesterday. Most will breathe a sigh of relief that their tax returns were filed on time. However, some may encounter an unexpected impediment – an

Tax Fraud: Dan Farhad Kalili, David Ramin Kalili And David Shahrokh Azarian Sentenced For Hiding Millions of Dollars

Southern California Residents sentenced to Prison for Hiding Millions of Dollars in Secret Foreign Bank Accounts

Failed to Report Swiss and Israeli Accounts Held for Over a Decade

Three Orange County, California residents were sentenced to prison today for willfully failing to report their foreign bank accounts in Switzerland and Israel, announced Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division.

Dan Farhad Kalili, 55, a resident of Irvine, California, was sentenced to serve 12 months and one day in prison; his brother, David Ramin Kalili, 52, a resident of Newport Coast, was sentenced to serve eight months in prison; and his brother-in-law, David Shahrokh Azarian, 67, also a resident of Newport Coast, was sentenced to serve eight months in prison.

According to documents and information provided to the court, Dan Kalili, David Kalili and Azarian willfully failed to file with the Department of Treasury Reports of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBARs) regarding secret bank accounts in Switzerland and Israel that each maintained and controlled, many for well over a decade. These secret accounts held assets that reached into the millions of dollars.

“For more than a decade, Dan Kalili, David Kalili and David Azarian hid millions in secret offshore accounts,” said Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Goldberg. “They moved their funds from bank to bank and country to country in an effort to escape scrutiny. Today, each was sentenced to prison. The clear message is: the days when a U.S. citizen can safely stash money in an undeclared foreign account are over.”

“Today’s sentencing should reassure every honest, hardworking American taxpayer that schemes designed to conceal income in offshore accounts will not be tolerated,” said Chief Richard Weber of Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI). “IRS-CI will continue to devote resources to investigate individuals who engage in these types of schemes for the purpose of personal gain by defrauding the U.S. Treasury and the American taxpayer.”

From May 1996 through at least 2009, Dan Kalili opened and maintained several undeclared offshore bank accounts at Credit Suisse Group (Credit Suisse) in Switzerland. He also opened and maintained several undeclared offshore bank accounts from at least 1998 through 2008 at UBS AG (UBS) in Switzerland. In July 2006, Dan Kalili opened an undeclared account at UBS in the name of the Colsa Foundation, an entity established under the laws of Liechtenstein. At the end of May 2008, the Colsa Foundation account held approximately $4,927,500 in assets. Similarly, David Kalili opened and maintained several undeclared accounts at Credit Suisse in Switzerland, from February 1999 through at least 2009, and at UBS in Switzerland, from October 1993 through at least 2008. Dan and David Kalili also maintained joint undeclared Swiss bank accounts at both UBS and Credit Suisse beginning in 2003 and 2004. Meanwhile, Azarian opened and maintained several of his own undeclared accounts at Credit Suisse in Switzerland from May 1994 through at least 2009, and at UBS in Switzerland from April 1997 through at least 2008.

Dan Kalili, David Kalili and Azarian took affirmative steps to prevent their assets in UBS and Credit Suisse from being discovered. Dan Kalili opened an undeclared account at Swiss Bank A in the name of the Colsa Foundation and in May 2008, transferred his assets from the UBS Colsa Foundation account to Swiss Bank A. By this time, Bradley Birkenfeld, an American banker who worked for UBS, had been indicted, Martin Liechti, a UBS executive, had been detained and UBS had announced that the Justice Department and the SEC were investigating whether it helped clients avoid paying taxes between 2000 and 2007. Dan Kalili later made a partial disclosure of the Swiss Bank A Colsa account on his individual income tax returns. In 2009, he opened undeclared accounts at Israeli Bank A and at Bank Leumi, both in Israel. In June 2009, he closed the joint undeclared account at Credit Suisse he held with David Kalili, as well as his own undeclared account, and transferred the funds. Shortly before its closure, the undeclared joint account at Credit Suisse held approximately $2,561,508 in assets. As of December 2009, Dan Kalili’s undeclared account at Israeli Bank A held assets valued at approximately $1,569,973, and his undeclared account at Bank Leumi held assets valued at approximately $2,497,931.

Similarly, in August 2008, David Kalili opened an undeclared account at Israeli Bank A in Israel, into which he transferred funds from his UBS accounts. He later partially declared the Israeli Bank A account on his individual income tax returns. As of August 2009, David Kalili’s undeclared account at Israeli Bank A held assets valued at approximately $1,369,489.

In August 2008, Azarian, also opened an undeclared account at Israeli Bank A in Israel, and in May 2009, he closed his undeclared account held at Credit Suisse and transferred the funds to Israeli Bank A. Azarian later partially declared this Israeli Bank A account on his individual income tax returns. At the time of its closure, Azarian’s undeclared account at Credit Suisse held assets valued at approximately $1,903,214.

In addition to the term of prison imposed, Dan Kalili was ordered to serve one year of supervised release and to pay $337,443 in restitution. He also agreed to pay a civil penalty of $2,674,329. David Kalili was ordered to serve one year of supervised release and to pay $243,019 in restitution. He also agreed to pay a civil penalty of $1,325.121. Azarian was ordered to serve one year of supervised release and to pay $197,840 in restitution. He also agreed to pay a civil penalty of $951,607.

Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Goldberg commended special agents of IRS–Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Assistant Chief Jorge Almonte and Trial Attorney Jason M. Scheff of the Tax Division, who prosecuted the case. Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Goldberg also thanked the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California for its substantial assistance.

Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the division’s website.

Original PressReleases…
Southern California Residents sentenced to Prison for Hiding Millions of Dollars in Secret Foreign Bank Accounts
Failed to Report Swiss and Israeli Accounts Held for Over a Decade

Three Orange County, California residents were sentenced to prison today for willfully failing to report their