12 February 2005 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Marcos Daniel Jiménez, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; Eileen J. O’Connor, Assistant Attorney General, Tax Division, United States Department of Justice; and Brian J. Wimpling, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Criminal Investigation, announced today that defendant, John Gregoriou (“J. Gregoriou”), was sentenced by United States District Court Judge Daniel T.K. Hurley, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to a term of seventy-two (72) months’ imprisonment for his conviction for conspiring against the IRS, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371, and tax evasion, in violation of Title 26, United States Code, Section 7201. Judge Hurley also sentenced J. Gregoriou, who previously pleaded guilty to the referenced charges, to a term of three (3) years’ supervised release and ordered him to pay $421,514.13 in restitution to the IRS.
J. Gregoriou’s wife, Laurie Gregoriou (“L. Gregoriou”), was previously sentenced to fifteen (15) months’ imprisonment following her plea of guilty to the conspiracy charge. L. Gregoriou also was sentenced to a term of two (2) years’ supervised release and was ordered to pay $421,514.13 in restitution to the IRS.
According to statements made in court, Gregoriou Publishing, Inc. (“GPI”), a company that published magazines listing foreclosures, failed to pay over to the IRS more than $200,000 in taxes withheld from its employees. The tax amount was based on approximately $1.1 million in income from approximately one hundred (100) employees between April, 1992, and December, 1993. When a company fails to pay over withholding taxes, the person responsible for making the payments is subject to a “Trust Fund Recovery Penalty” equal to the amount of the withheld taxes, plus interest. The person responsible for the payment is any officer of the corporation or anyone connected to the corporation that has access to the corporation’s finances. J. Gregoriou, the sole shareholder and President of GPI, was the person who signed off on the company’s quarterly tax returns and deemed by the IRS as subject to the “Trust Fund Recovery Penalty.” As of the date of the Indictment, the total owed by J. Gregoriou on this debt was approximately $420,000.
The defendants conspired to evade payment of this debt by, among other things, placing J. Gregoriou’s assets, income, and businesses in nominee names, including L. Gregoriou’s name and the names of both of their parents. Items included the Gregorious’ home, held in the name of J. Gregoriou’s mother; a $159,000 1995 Cigarette boat, a $265,000 1996 Cigarette boat, and a lease on a $72,180 2001 BMW 740IL, all held in the name of L. Gregoriou’s father; a lease on a $94,789 1995 348 TS Ferrari held in the names of L. Gregoriou and her father; and a lease on a $175,000 1994 Lamborghini Diablo held in L. Gregoriou’s name. The Gregorious also hid J. Gregoriou’s ability to pay his tax debt by having bills paid through L. Gregoriou’s personal account, and directly through corporate accounts.
Mr. Jiménez commended the investigative efforts of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Carolyn Bell and Trial Attorney Shelly Goldklang, Tax Division, United States Department of Justice.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls . 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 .