Justice News

Department of Justice
Tax Division

Thursday, May 30, 2013
Florida Accountant Sentenced To Federal Prison For Two Fraud Schemes

WASHINGTON – Joseph Rizzuti, of Stuart, Fla., was sentenced to serve 80 months in federal prison for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and for corruptly endeavoring to obstruct the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Justice Department and the IRS announced today.

According to court documents, Rizzuti, an accountant and the owner of Beacon Accounting Services in Palm City, Fla., interfered with the IRS's ability to collect taxes owed by two clients by stealing payments from those clients intended for the IRS and making misrepresentations to the clients, as well as the IRS, to conceal his scheme. Rizzuti also admitted to engaging in a criminal conspiracy to commit wire fraud by making material misrepresentations to individuals throughout the United States who believed the money they were investing with Rizzuti and his co-conspirators was funding Nigerian-related oil and Bahamian construction projects, but instead Rizzuti and his co-conspirators used the investors' money for their own personal expenses. In total, Rizzuti and his co-conspirators stole approximately $3 million.

In addition to prison time, U.S. District Judge Donald L. Graham sentenced Rizzuti to serve three years of supervised release and to pay restitution to victims of his schemes, including the IRS. Judge Graham ordered a restitution of almost $300,000 at the sentencing hearing, and additional restitution will be determined within 90 days.

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

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

Updated April 6, 2015