The Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that Richard L. Furnelli, formerly of Holyoke and South Hadley, Mass., was indicted today in Springfield, Mass. Furnelli is charged in a nine-count indictment with one count of obstructing the internal revenue laws, four counts of tax evasion and four counts of failing to file his individual income tax returns.
The indictment alleges that from 1994 to 2009, Furnelli obstructed the IRS’s ability to identify his income and compute the income taxes due and owing by using nominee owners to disguise his ownership interests in a network of businesses and assets, including entities operating an adult entertainment venue called the Gold Club.
The indictment also alleges Furnelli earned over $2 million in total income from 2006 to 2009 and evaded his individual income taxes for that time period by, among other things, directing the payment of his income to the nominee entity, RLF Ventures LLC, utilizing a bank account in the name of a nominee in order to deposit his income and pay his personal expenses, as well as using cash extensively. The indictment further alleges that Furnelli failed to file his individual income tax returns from 2006 to 2009.
Furnelli faces a maximum punishment of three years in prison for the charge of obstructing the internal revenue laws; five years for each count of evading his individual income taxes; and one year for each count of failing to file his individual income tax returns. He faces a maximum fine of $100,000 on each count of failing to file his income tax returns and $250,000 for each of the other counts. An indictment merely alleges that a crime has been committed, and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The case was investigated by special agents of the IRS - Criminal Investigation. Tax Division Trial Attorneys Thomas Voracek and Mark McDonald are prosecuting the case.