LI business owner convicted in scheme to hide income from IRS

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A Long Island business owner was convicted in federal court in Central Islip on Wednesday in connection with a scheme to conceal cash income to evade taxes, file false tax returns and obstruct the Internal Revenue Service.

Lorraine Pilitz, also known as Lorraine Christie and Lorraine Storms, of Merrick, was found guilty. The verdict came after a two-week trial, according to the US Department of Justice.

“For years, the defendant thought she could get away with hiding large sums of money and income, obstructing the Internal Revenue Service and misleading her employees, but the jury saw it clearly. in lies and held her accountable for her actions,” the U.S. attorney said. the Eastern District of New York Breon Peace said in a statement. “Business owners who put greed above the rule of law will suffer the consequences.”

The owner and operator of several auto-related businesses on Long Island, Pilitz “systematically structured cash deposits to avoid “required currency transaction reporting deposits,” depositing cash amounts just under $10,000. “, officials said. As a result, “hundreds of thousands of dollars were stashed from the IRS, officials said. In the same scheme, “Pilitz also diverted hundreds of thousands of dollars from company checks to his personal bank accounts and those of his family, maintained ‘off-the-books’ payroll records, failed to file personal and business tax returns, and filed false tax returns that grossly understated his income” , according to the Department of Justice.

“Lorraine Pilitz set up a complicated scheme to hide hundreds of thousands of dollars from the IRS by grossly underreporting her income and having an ‘off-the-books’ payroll. As the investigative arm of the IRS, IRS Criminal Investigation is strategically positioned to hunt down anyone who seeks to steal from the U.S. Treasury and the American public to line their pockets,” Thomas Fattorusso, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Criminal Investigation of the Internal Revenue Service of the IRS in New York, said in a press release when announcing the verdict.

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