Former Accountant of Adult Entertainment Businesses Charged with Tax Fraud
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Michael J. DePalma, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), announce that Paul Anthony Ruggieri, of Parkland, Florida, was charged in a nine-count Indictment with one count of conspiring to defraud the lawful functions of the Internal Revenue Service, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371, and eight counts of aiding and assisting in the filing of false tax returns, in violation of Title 26, U.S.C. Section 7206(2). Defendant Ruggieri made his initial appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Dave Lee Brannon.
According to the charges, Ruggieri provided accounting and return preparation services to Anthony Andreozzi, F & A Concepts, Inc. (F & A) and Galaxy Communications, Inc. (Galaxy), two adult entertainment businesses owned and operated by Andreozzi in the State of Florida. Defendant Ruggieri also provided accounting services to the general public through his business, Strategic Accounting Alliance. As stated in the Indictment, Ruggieri and Andreozzi conspired for the purpose of unlawfully enriching themselves by engaging in a fraudulent scheme to evade the payment of federal income taxes.
As alleged in Indictment, Andreozzi diverted corporate receipts of F & A and Galaxy for his own personal use. In order to conceal his diversion of corporate funds, Andreozzi instructed Ruggieri to falsify the corporate books and records by classifying certain personal expenditures of Andreozzi as business expenses. Ruggieri and Andreozzi caused the preparation and filing of false corporate tax returns for F & A and Galaxy, in that the corporate returns included fraudulent business expenses which reduced each corporations’ income. Ruggieri and Andreozzi also caused the filing of false personal income tax returns for Andreozzi for calendar years 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009, in that the personal returns failed to include the diverted corporate income, thereby understating on Andreozzi’s personal returns his total income and tax due and owing.
Andreozzi was charged on September 9, 2013, with conspiring to defraud the United States.
If convicted, Ruggieri faces a maximum statutory sentence of up to five years in prison for the conspiracy charge, and three years in prison on each count of willfully aiding and assisting in the filing of false tax returns.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of IRS-CI. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie D. Evans.
An Indictment is only an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
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.