Antonio "Jeff" Lorenzo, operator of several nightclubs in the Akron area, was indicted on 50 counts of tax evasion and one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States
A federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Antonio J. Lorenzo with 50 counts of tax evasion and one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.
Kristen L. Smyers, 40, of Canal Fulton, Ohio, worked as a bookkeeper for Lorenzo’s companies. She is also charged in the conspiracy count.
Lorenzo, 51, of Bath, Ohio, is accused of under-reporting income of about $746,000 between 2006 and 2010, resulting in a tax loss of about $205,000, according to the indictment.
The indictment alleges that Lorenzo was the owner of several businesses located in the Akron area, including Lorenzo Entertainment, which operated POSH nightclub and LUX Nightclub and Ultra Lounge; Crystal Entertainment, Inc., which operated Platinum Horse Cabaret and Mars Men's Club; and Lorenzo's Drive Thru, Inc.
The indictment further alleges that Lorenzo, as the owner of these businesses, was responsible for reporting and paying to the IRS certain employment taxes under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act ("FICA"), as well as for collecting and paying over the employees’ share of FICA and their income taxes.
Lorenzo paid several of his employees a portion of their wages in cash "under the table", and the other portion of their wages via payroll check to avoid the payment of such taxes and to defraud the United States government, according to the indictment.
Lorenzo did not withhold or report employment or income taxes on the cash wages, and did not pay the taxes that he owed as a result, according to the indictment.
The indictment also alleges that Smyers kept two sets of records at Lorenzo’s direction, one of which excluded the cash wages, and that only the records excluding the cash wages were disclosed to Lorenzo’s outside accountant to prepare the relevant tax documents.
If convicted, the defendants’ sentences will be determined by the Court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendants’ prior criminal records, if any, the defendants’ roles in the offense, and the characteristics of the violation. In all cases the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.
The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Rebecca Lutzko, following an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, Akron, Ohio.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.