Florida Licensed General Contractor and Spouse Charged with Tax Fraud
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Michael J. De Palma, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), announce that Scarlet Veres, a/k/a Scarlet Russo, a/k/a Scarlet Rice, and Steven M. Veres, III (the Veres), both of Clermont, Florida, formerly of Broward County, Florida, were charged with tax fraud. Specifically, the Indictment charges both defendants with conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service and with willfully filing false tax returns. Steven M. Veres, III, was also charged with aiding and assisting in the preparation of a false tax return. The defendants made their initial appearance yesterday before U.S. Magistrate Judge David A. Baker of the Middle District of Florida.
According to the charges, defendant Steven M. Veres, III was a licensed general contractor who owned and operated Superior Contracting, Inc., a State of Florida construction company. During the 2005 tax year, defendants Scarlet Veres and Steven M. Veres, III were the sole shareholders of Superior Contracting, Inc. In 2005, Superior Contracting, Inc. received millions of dollars from contracts to repair hurricane damaged condominium buildings in St. Lucie County, Florida. As stated in the Indictment, Scarlet Veres was responsible for the corporate bookkeeping which included recording the income and expenses for Superior Contracting, Inc. in the accounting software used to generate the profit and loss statements for the corporation.
As further stated in the Indictment, the Veres were married in July of 2005, in Broward County, Florida. In June 2007, defendant Steven M. Veres, III petitioned for a downward modification of his child support payments to a former spouse, whom Steven M. Veres, III divorced in 2003. In support of this petition, defendant Steven M. Veres, III provided copies of his delinquent personal and corporation income tax returns, which returns were subsequently filed with the IRS. On their 2005 U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, defendants Scarlet Veres and Steven M. Veres, III claimed to have adjusted gross income of a negative amount yet the defendants had expenditures for real property, personal home construction and improvements, vehicles, investments, and jewelry in that same year totaling at least $1.5 million. The false corporate and personal income tax returns served the dual purpose of evading income taxes of defendants Scarlet Veres and Steven M. Veres, III and child support obligations of defendant Steven M. Veres, III.
The Indictment alleges that the Veres conspired with each other to defraud the IRS and file false personal and corporate tax returns for 2005. This was accomplished by diverting corporate receipts of Superior Contracting, Inc. to their own use. In order to conceal their diversion of corporate funds, the Veres allegedly falsified the profit and loss statement of Superior Contracting, Inc. by characterizing personal expenses, as business expenses, which in turn, reduced the income reported on Superior Contracting, Inc.'s corporate tax return. The Indictment further alleges that by providing their tax return preparer with false profit and loss statements for Superior, Inc. the Veres caused the tax preparer to prepare a false 2005 Individual Income Tax Return which failed to correctly report the defendants' share of income generated by Superior Contracting, Inc. The Indictment further states that the defendants made false statements and representations to agents of the Internal Revenue Service for the purpose of concealing the income they received from Superior Contracting, Inc.
If convicted, the defendants face a maximum statutory sentence of up to five years in prison for the conspiracy charge and three years in prison for each count of willfully filing false tax returns. In addition, Steven M. Veres, III faces up to three years in prison for aiding and assisting in the preparation of a false tax return.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of IRS-CI. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie D. Evans.
The Indictment is only an accusation and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until he is 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.