Justice News

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Florida Accountant Indicted for Stealing Client Money Intended for IRS

An indictment was unsealed today in Fort Pierce, Fla., charging Joseph Rizzuti with one count of corruptly endeavoring to obstruct the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and four counts of wire fraud, the Justice Department and the IRS announced. The indictment was returned by a grand jury on Nov. 29, 2012.

According to the indictment, Rizzuti, the owner of Beacon Accounting Services in Palm City, Fla., interfered with the IRS’s ability to collect taxes owed by two clients, stole payments from those clients intended for the IRS, and made misrepresentations to those clients and to the IRS. Rizzuti allegedly stole approximately $265,000 from one client and approximately $23,500 from another client, money that the clients gave him to pay to the IRS.

An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If convicted, Rizzuti faces a maximum potential sentence of 20 years in prison for each of the four wire fraud counts and a maximum potential sentence of 3 years for the obstruction count. He is also subject to fines and mandatory restitution if convicted.

This case was investigated by special agents of IRS - Criminal Investigation and Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. Trial Attorneys Justin Gelfand and Rebecca Perlmutter of the Justice Department’s Tax Division are prosecuting the case.

Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found at www.justice.gov/tax .

12-1492