Miami Business Owner Pleads Guilty to Employment Tax Fraud
A Miami, Florida, business owner pleaded guilty today to failing to pay over employment taxes, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Ariana Fajardo Orshan for the Southern District of Florida.
According to court documents, between 2002 and 2017, Ricardo Betancourt owned and operated multiple parcel delivery businesses in the South Florida area. Betancourt’s businesses earned gross revenues of more than $100 million.
Through his businesses, Betancourt employed hundreds of employees and was responsible for collecting and paying over to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) the taxes withheld from employees’ paychecks. Betancourt withheld payroll taxes from his employees, but he deliberately failed to pay over those withholdings and other associated taxes to the IRS, despite his obligation to do so. In 2013 and 2014, Betancourt did not pay over approximately 97 percent of the federal employment taxes he withheld from his employees. In 2015 and 2016, Betancourt did not pay over any of the federal employment taxes he withheld from his employees. For the quarter ending December 2016, Betancourt admitted that he failed to truthfully account for and pay over payroll taxes of approximately $727,478.
Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 12, 2020. Betancourt faces a statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison as well as a period of supervised release, restitution, and monetary penalties.
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman and U.S. Attorney Fajardo Orshan thanked special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Trial Attorney Michael Boteler and Assistant Chief Charles Edgar 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.