MIAMI, FLORIDA OWNER OF CONSTRUCTION BUSINESS SENTENCED TO PRISON FOR TAX FRAUD
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, John A. DiCicco, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice, Tax Division, and Jose A. Gonzalez, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CID), announced that Braynert Marquez, of Miami, Fla., was sentenced yesterday to 30 months of imprisonment, one year of supervised release and ordered to pay $280,362 in restitution to the IRS. Marquez previously pled guilty on July 21, 2011 to a one-count Information charging him with aiding or assisting in the preparation of a false employment tax return, in violation of Title 26, United States Code, Section 7206(2). Specifically, the Information charged that on or about January 31, 2008, Braynert Marquez willfully aided and assisted in and caused the preparation and presentation of a fraudulent Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return, IRS Form 941, for Bema Group for the calendar quarter ending December 31, 2007. The return was fraudulent in that it underreported wages, tips, and other compensation paid to employees.
According to court documents, Marquez operated and at least partly owned two construction companies known as Bema Block Corp. (“Bema Block”) and Bema Group Corp. (“Bema Group”). From 2004 through 2007, Marquez paid employees of Bema Block and Bema Group “off-the-books” wages in two different ways. First, from late 2006 through 2007, Marquez obtained cash to pay his employees by causing Bema Block and Bema Group corporate checks to be issued to DJ Construction Group, Inc. (“DJ Construction”). DJ Construction was a shell corporation created by others for use in the check cashing scheme. DJ Construction did no actual work for either Bema Block or Bema Group. Marquez caused the checks to be cashed at a check cashing store that was aware of the arrangement. Marquez then caused his employees to be paid with the cash from the checks. In 2007, approximately $698,848.82 in Bema Block and Bema Group checks were written to DJ Construction and cashed to pay employees. Marquez failed to report the cash wages on quarterly employment tax returns and failed to withhold and pay over employment taxes on the wages.
Second, Marquez caused certain Bema Block employees to be paid with two checks: one payroll check from which the employment taxes were withheld and an additional check with no taxes withheld. The additional check was issued not from Bema Block, but from one of two corporations created by Marquez and others solely for this purpose: MFCM Group Corporation (“MFCM Group”) and MJMF Group Corporation (“MJMF Group”). From 2004 through 2007, Marquez caused approximately $664,535 in checks from MFCM Group and at least $469,049 in checks from MJMF Group to be written to Bema Block employees. Marquez failed to report the wages paid by these checks on quarterly employment tax returns and failed to withhold and pay over employment taxes on the wages.
Mr. Ferrer and Mr. DiCicco thanked the IRS Special Agents who investigated this case and Tax Division Trial Attorneys Matthew J. Mueller, Jason H. Poole and Assistant Chief Gregory E. Tortella who are prosecuting the case.
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.