Former CFO of Russian Natural Gas Company Convicted of Making False Statements to the IRS, Failing to Disclose Offshore Accounts and Failing to File Tax Returns
A federal jury found a Florida man guilty of failing to file a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR), making a false statement to the IRS, and willfully failing to file tax returns.
According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, from 2005 to 2015, Mark Anthony Gyetvay of Naples, Florida, concealed his ownership and control over substantial offshore assets and failed to file and pay taxes on millions of dollars of income. After working as a certified public accountant (CPA) in the United States and Russia, Gyetvay became the chief financial officer of Novatek, a large Russian gas company. Beginning in 2005, Gyetvay opened two different accounts at a bank in Switzerland to hold substantial assets, which at one point had an aggregate value of over $93,000,000. Over a period of several years, Gyetvay took steps to conceal his ownership and control over these funds, including removing himself from the accounts and making his then-wife, a Russian citizen, the beneficial owner of the accounts. Additionally, despite being a CPA, Gyetvay did not file his 2013 and 2014 U.S. tax returns.
Gyetvay did not file FBARs, as required, to disclose his control over the Swiss bank accounts, at times, rejecting his accountant’s recommendation to do so. In an unsuccessful attempt to avoid significant financial penalties, Gyetvay made a false filing with the IRS using the Streamlined Foreign Offshore Procedures, available only to taxpayers whose failure to report offshore assets and income is due to non-willful conduct.
He is scheduled to be sentenced on September 21, 2023, and faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison for failing to file an FBAR, five years in prison for making a false statement and one year in prison for each willful failure to file a tax return. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division made the announcement.
IRS-Criminal Investigation is investigating the case.
Senior Litigation Counsel Stanley Okula, Assistant Chief David Zisserson and Trial Attorney Kevin Schneider of the Justice Department’s Tax Division are prosecuting the case.