Owners of Pennsylvania Based Internet Floral Company Sentenced to Prison for Tax Fraud
A Pennsylvania couple that owned and operated an internet floral business were sentenced to prison today for failing to pay over employment taxes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and for filing fraudulent personal and corporate tax returns, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney William M. McSwain for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Andrew Bassaner (aka Andrew Bunchuk) was sentenced to 42 months in prison, and his wife and business partner, Vicki Bunchuk, was sentenced to six months in prison. The defendants were convicted in February 2018 following a jury trial.
According to the evidence introduced at trial, Andrew Bassaner and Vicki Bunchuk owned and operated Florist Concierge Inc. (FCI). For tax years 2010 through 2012, Bunchuk, aided and assisted by Bassaner, filed fraudulent corporate and personal income tax returns with the IRS. They diverted funds from FCI, which they falsely deducted as business expenses on FCI’s corporate returns and did not report as income on their personal returns. The expenses included over $200,000 in personal expenditures such as luxury cars, the down payment on a multimillion-dollar house, tickets to sporting events, and home repairs.
In addition, Bassaner and Bunchuk filed fraudulent employment tax returns for FCI that falsely classified its employees as independent contractors. Based on this fraudulent classification, Bassaner and Bunchuk claimed not to owe employment taxes on the wages paid to those individuals.
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman and U.S. Attorney McSwain thanked special agents of IRS Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation and Assistant U.S. Attorney David Ignall and Trial Attorneys Christopher O’Donnell and Jack Morgan of the Tax Division, who prosecuted the case.
Additional information about the Tax Division’s enforcement efforts can be found on the division’s website.