16 December 2004 – LAWFUEL – First for law news – 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; Robert Harris, Special Agent in Charge, Department of Defense, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, Southeast Region; and Brian J. Wimpling, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, announced that defendant, Kimberly Ganatra, a/k/a Kimberly Viallant, pleaded guilty today before United States District Court Judge Kenneth L. Ryskamp, in West Palm Beach, Florida, to an eleven (11) count Indictment charging her with one (1) count of conspiracy, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371; eight (8) counts of mail fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1341; one (1) count of filing a false tax return, in violation of Title 26, United States Code, Section 7206(1); and two (2) counts of tax evasion, in violation of Title 26, United States Code, Section 7201.
The maximum statutory term of imprisonment for each count of conspiracy, mail fraud, and tax evasion is five (5) years. The maximum statutory term of imprisonment for filing a false income tax return is three (3) years. Ganatra’s sentencing hearing is scheduled before Judge Ryskamp on February 25, 2005, at 1:30 p.m.
As alleged in the Indictment, between 1995 and 2000, Ganatra and her husband, through a series of nominee companies, bid on and were awarded almost 1,000 Department of Defense (DOD) supply contracts. Most of the contracts were for $10,000 or less. The supplies were sought for part of a worldwide, integrated supply chain to support land, air, and maritime weapon systems for the defense of the United States. Ganatra, through the nominee companies, purchased supplies to fulfill the DOD contracts from merchants that manufactured or supplied the particular parts that met the specifications and standards necessary to fulfill the DOD contracts. The DOD had exact specifications and standards for most of the products procured. As part of the conspiracy, most of the supplies were purchased on credit by Ganatra through the nominee companies. Oftentimes, Ganatra and her co-conspirators agreed to pay the merchants more than the amount they were to be awarded under the DOD contract.
Ganatra and her co-conspirators provided the supplies to the DOD in fulfillment of the contracts and were paid by DOD. Instead of paying on the contracts, however, Ganatra and her co-conspirators did not pay the suppliers from whom they had purchased the necessary parts. Failure to make such payments could cause the suppliers to cease manufacturing and supplying parts meeting DOD specifications. Ganatra admitted that her actions caused a direct loss to the suppliers of between $350,000 – $500,000.
The three (3) tax charges to which Ganatra pleaded guilty involved her failure to report and pay taxes on funds received from DOD through the nominee companies. As alleged in the Indictment, between 1997 and 2000, Ganatra and her husband failed to report approximately $592,504 in adjusted gross income from monies received from the DOD and failed to pay approximately $168,132 in taxes due and owing on this income.
To report tax fraud, citizens can call the Internal Revenue Service tip line at 1-800-829-0433. To report DOD contract fraud, citizens can call 954-202-9167.
Mr. Jiménez commended the investigative efforts of the Department of Defense, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, Southeast Region, and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Carolyn Bell and Department of Justice Trial Attorney Stephanie Evans.
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 . <.>