South Florida-Based Government Contractor Pleads Guilty to Tax Fraud
A Fort Lauderdale, Florida based government contractor pleaded guilty today in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida to filing a false income tax return, Acting Assistant Attorney General Caroline D. Ciraolo of the Justice Department’s Tax Division announced.
According to court documents, Maxim Silinsky, 44, owned an aircraft-leasing and parts-supply company called Simplex Corporation. Simplex contracted with the federal government to lease Russian aircraft to the U.S. Air Force for training purposes and to supply parts and equipment to U.S. military forces deployed to Afghanistan.
Silinsky used a complex web of domestic and foreign corporate entities and financial accounts to facilitate his underpayment of both corporate and individual income tax for the years 2007 through 2010. Silinsky filed false corporate tax returns for these years that overstated Simplex’s expenses. For the years 2008 through 2010, Silinsky also filed false individual income tax returns on which he understated the amount of income he received from the business. To conceal his fraud from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Silinsky transferred approximately $1.7 million from Simplex to nominee bank accounts he controlled and disguised the transfers as costs of goods sold, which led to overstated costs-of-goods-sold expenses on Simplex’s corporate returns. In 2012, during an audit of Simplex’s 2008 corporate return, Silinksy made false statements to the IRS about these expenses. Silinksy also purchased real estate using funds he diverted from the business and titled the property in nominee names to hide his involvement with these purchases. Additionally, a family member served as a nominee shareholder of a shell corporation that Silinsky established to receive income from Simplex on his behalf. While taxes were paid on the funds diverted to the shell corporation, the arrangement allowed Silinsky to pay taxes on this money at a lower rate. In the plea documents, Silinsky also admitted that he was involved in making illicit payments to a government contractor and U.S. military personnel.
At his Feb. 2, 2016 sentencing, Silinsky faces a statutory maximum sentence of three years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, or twice the loss caused by the offense and restitution to the IRS.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Ciraolo commended special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, the U.S. Air Force’s Office of Special Investigations and the U.S. Department of Defense’s Office of the Inspector General, who investigated this case and Trial Attorneys Charles M. Edgar Jr. and Jason H. Poole of the Tax Division, who are prosecuting this case. Ciraolo also thanked the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of Florida for their substantial assistance.
Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts against stolen identity tax refund fraud may be found on the division’s website.