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Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Shoe Store Chain Owner Sentenced For Tax Fraud Conspiracy

Augst 29, 2013

PHILADELPHIA - Uri Jacobson, 42, of Philadelphia, was sentenced today to 30 months in prison for a tax fraud conspiracy that involved paying employees under the table and filing false tax returns. Jacobson, the co-owner of 12 shoe and discount stores doing business as Bare Feet Shoes, employed more than 200 people in Pennsylvania and New Jersey including Elena Falaschetti, 53, also of Philadelphia, who was a store manager and was indicted with Jacobson. Falaschetti was sentenced on May 20, 2013 to six months of home confinement. U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence F. Stengel also ordered Jacobson to pay restitution to the IRS in the amount of $1,263,000 and ordered one year of supervised release.

Between 2003 and 2009, Jacobson decided to pay some of his employees, in whole or in part, “under the table,” that is, without federal income taxes and federal Social Security and Medicare taxes being withdrawn from their wages and paid to the IRS. Jacobson caused his office employees, including Falaschetti, to falsely report salary, hours, and/or wages per hour for certain employees to the company’s payroll service. Jacobson’s own corporate records show that between 2004 and approximately September 2009, Bare Feet Shoes paid out a total of approximately $2,787,640 in gross wages which were not reported to the IRS and from which federal income taxes and Social Security and Medicare taxes were not withheld and paid to the IRS. Jacobson’s failure to withhold and pay over his employees full federal taxes, and his failure to pay his employer’s matching share of the Social Security and Medicare taxes, caused a tax loss of approximately $596,628.

Jacobson, who pleaded guilty on September 5, 2012, filed false tax returns for 2004, 2006, 2007, and 2008 and failed to file a personal income tax return for 2005, under-reporting his income by approximately $700,000. Falaschetti, who also pleaded guilty on September 5, 2012, filed false personal income tax returns for tax years 2006 through 2009, under-reporting her income by approximately $121,000.

The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Paul Gray.

UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, EASTERN DISTRICTof PENNSYLVANIA
Suite 1250, 615 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
PATTY HARTMAN, Media Contact, 215-861-8525