News and Press Releases

WIFE OF PHOENIX DIVERSIFIED COMMODITIES TRADER SENTENCED IN TAX FRAUD CASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 5, 2010

Jeffrey H. Sloman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Daniel W. Auer, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Miami Field Office, and J. Thomas Cardwell, Commissioner, State of Florida’s Office of Financial Regulation, announced that defendant Victoria R. Meisner, of Boca Raton, FL, was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Judge Kenneth L. Ryskamp to 18 months’ imprisonment for filing a false tax return, in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7206(1). She was also sentenced to one year of supervised release, and was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $345,399.00 to the Internal Revenue Service.

As set forth in the Information to which she pled guilty, in July, 2005, Victoria Meisner filed a 2003 joint federal income tax return on which she reported total income of $49,626, when she knew that at least $430,000 should have been reported on the return as she and her family maintained a lavish lifestyle well in excess of what was reported. Victoria Meisner also admitted to filing a false 2004 joint tax return reporting income of $93,631.00 when she knew that at least $540,294.22 should have been reported based on expenses incurred through her family’s lavish lifestyle.

According to statements made in court in prior hearings, on September 4, 2009, Meisner’s husband, Michael A. Meisner, pled guilty to a three count Information charging him with mail fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C.§ 1341, loan application fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1014, and tax fraud, in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7201. According to the Information and written proffer filed with his plea agreement, Michael Meisner, a registered commodity trading advisor, defrauded more than 260 investors in a $37 million fraud perpetrated through a company called Phoenix Diversified Investment Corporation (PDIC). Michael Meisner admitted that approximately $6.8 million in PDIC investor monies were used to support his and his family’s luxurious lifestyle. PDIC investor monies were used to pay for, among other things: the purchase or lease of at least 15 luxury cars, including a $217,800 2005 Bentley GT and a $152,000 2005 Aston Martin; the purchase or lease of 8 luxury Palm Beach county residences, including high-end single-family homes in gated communities and oceanfront condominiums; luxury vacations, private education expenses, country club fees, multiple large-screen televisions and other high-end electronics, luxury clothing and housewares, and a lavish wedding for his daughter held at Mar-A-Lago on Palm Beach.

United States Attorney Jeffrey H. Sloman stated, “As citizens of this great nation, we enjoy many privileges, but we have a corresponding responsibility to pay our fair share of taxes. This Office will continue to help the IRS-Criminal Investigation Division enforce our nation’s tax laws.”

IRS Special Agent in Charge Daniel W. Auer stated, "Those Americans who file accurate, honest and timely returns can be assured that the government will hold accountable those who don't."

FBI Special Agent in Charge John V. Gillies stated, “This is a lesson to all spouses that they cannot claim ignorance about their financial situation when they know better. We will continue to work with our partners at the IRS to investigate fraud matters.”

Michael Meisner is currently scheduled to be sentenced on March 19, 2010 at 2:00 p.m. before U.S. District Judge Kenneth A. Marra.

Mr. Sloman commended the investigative efforts of the IRS, Criminal Investigative Division, FBI and State of Florida’s Office of Financial Regulation. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Carolyn Bell.

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A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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