Former Miami-Dade County, Florida, Vendor Involved in Kickback Scheme Pleads Guilty to Filing False Tax Return
A resident of Great Neck, New York, pleaded guilty today in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida to a one-count information charging him with filing a false federal income tax return, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Caroline D. Ciraolo of the Justice Department’s Tax Division announced today.
According to the Information and court filings, Paul Raifaizen was an owner of Data Industries Inc., a computer consulting company located in the state of New York, which provided information technology services to public and private sector entities. Between 1998 and 2012, Data Industries provided information technology services to Miami-Dade County. Jesus Pons was a Computer Services Manager at the General Services Administration of Miami-Dade County. Pons was responsible for managing and allocating resources to information technology projects for Miami-Dade County, as well as supervising work performed by county vendors. From 2007 to 2011, Raifaizen and Pons engaged in an illegal kickback scheme in which Raifaizen made kickback payments to Pons in exchange for Pons approving payments from Miami-Dade County to Raifaizen’s company for consulting work that was never performed. Raifaizen did not report the payments he received from this kickback scheme on his 2011 individual income tax return. According to the plea agreement, the tax due and owing to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as a result of this scheme is between $200,000 and $400,000.
Raifaizen is scheduled to be sentenced on May 1. He faces a statutory maximum sentence of three years in prison and a $250,000 fine for filing a false tax return.
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Ciraolo commended special agents of IRS – Criminal Investigation, who investigated the case, and thanked the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida for their assistance, as well as Trial Attorneys Jeffrey McLellan and Erin Pulice of the Tax Division, who are prosecuting the case.
Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the division’s website.