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Shoe Store Chain Owner Charged With Tax Fraud Conspiracy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 26, 2012

 

PHILADELPHIA - An information was unsealed yesterday against Uri Jacobson, 41, of Philadelphia, and a separate information was filed yesterday against Elena Falaschetti, 53, of Philadelphia, alleging that the pair conspired to defraud the United States by paying employees under the table. Jacobson is the owner of the Bare Feet Shoes chain of retail stores. Falaschetti is the store manager. The charges were announced today by United States Attorney Zane David Memeger and Special Agent-in-Charge Akeia Conner with the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division.

Jacobson operates 12 shoe and discount stores and employ more than 200 people in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. According to the information, between 2003 and 2009, Jacobson decided to pay some of his employees, in whole or in part, “under the table,” that is, without federal income taxes and federal social security and medicare taxes being withdrawn from their wages and paid to the IRS. Jacobson allegedly caused his office employees, including defendent Falaschetti, to falsely report salary, hours, and/or wages per hour for certain employees to the company’s payroll service. Jacobson’s own corporate records show that between 2004 and approximately September 2009, Bare Feet shoes paid out a total of approximately $2,787,640 in gross wages which were not reported to the IRS and from which federal income taxes and social security and medicare taxes were not withheld and paid to the IRS. Jacobson’s failure to withhold and pay over his employees full federal taxes, and his failure to pay his employer’s matching share of the social security and medicare taxes, caused a tax loss of approximately $596,628.

It is further alleged that Jacobson filed a 2004 federal income tax return reporting an adjustable gross income of approximately $250,035, when in fact, he had received additional taxable
income of approximately $151,156; a 2006 federal income tax return reporting an adjustable gross income of approximately $447,228, when in fact, he had received additional taxable income of approximately $311,052; a 2007 federal income tax return that reported an adjusted gross income of approximately $515,436, when in fact, he had received additional taxable income of approximately $126,893; and a 2008 federal income tax return that reported an adjusted gross income of approximately $488,982, when in fact, he had received additional taxable income of approximately $112,940.
It is further alleged that Falaschetti filed her 2006 federal income tax return which reported adjusted gross income of $5,937, when, in fact, she had received additional taxable income of approximately $37,095 from her job with Bare Feet Shoes; a 2007 federal income tax return which reported adjusted gross income of $23,283, when, in fact, she had received additional taxable income of approximately $28,385; a 2008 federal income tax return which reported adjusted gross income of $24,700, when, in fact, she had received additional taxable income of approximately $32,625; and a 2009 federal income tax return which reported adjusted gross income of $ 37,610, when, in fact, she had received additional taxable income of approximately $23,555 from her job with Bare Feet Shoes.

If convicted of all charges, Jacobson faces a possible advisory sentencing guideline range of 24 to 30 months in prison, restitution to the IRS, plus possible fines and a special assessment of $600. Falaschetti faces a possible advisory sentencing guideline range of 10 to 16 months in prison, restitution to the IRS, plus possible fines and a special assessment of $500.

The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Paul Gray.

UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, EASTERN DISTRICTof PENNSYLVANIA
Suite 1250, 615 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
PATTY HARTMAN, Media Contact, 215-861-8525

 

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