Two D.C. Businessmen Found Guilty of Bribing D.C. Tax Official To Erase Millions in Tax Liability
WASHINGTON — Today, a federal jury found Anthony Merritt, 48, of Washington D.C., and Andre De Moya, 54, of Temple Hills, Maryland, guilty of bribery, conspiracy, and wire-fraud offenses arising from their scheme to bribe former D.C. Tax Official Vincent Slater, so that Slater would erase millions of dollars of their District tax liabilities. U.S. District Court Judge Reggie B. Walton scheduled a sentencing hearing for De Moya on October 17, 2023; and for Merritt on October 23, 2023.
According to the evidence at trial, De Moya paid Slater, a former employee of the D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue (OTR), to fraudulently eliminate tax liabilities of businesses owned by De Moya and others, including Arman Amirshahi and Charles Zhou. Anthony Merritt served as a middleman, whom De Moya and Slater relied upon to communicate with Slater and who facilitated the bribe payments. Merritt also took a cut of the bribe payments. Amirshahi, Zhou, and Slater all previously pleaded guilty for their roles in this and related bribery schemes, and are awaiting sentencing.
The verdicts were announced by U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves, Special Agent in Charge Wayne A. Jacobs, with the FBI’s Washington Field Office, and D.C. Inspector General Daniel W. Lucas.
The statutory maximum sentence for conspiracy is five years in prison; for bribery, is 15 years in prison; and for wire fraud, is 20 years in prison. A federal court judge will determine the appropriate sentence based on the guideline range and other factors.
In announcing the verdict, U.S. Attorney Graves commended the work of the agencies who investigated the case, including the FBI’s Washington Field Office and the District of Columbia Office of the Inspector General, with substantial assistance by the District of Columbia Office of the Chief Financial Officer, Office of Integrity and Oversight. He also expressed appreciation for the efforts of those who handled the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialists Michon Tart, Amanda Rhode, and Mariela Andrade, and former paralegal specialist Aisha Keys.
Finally, he acknowledged the work of Assistant United States Attorneys Christine Macey and Timothy Visser, who prosecuted the case at trial, and Assistant United States Attorneys Emily Miller and Molly Gaston, and former AUSA Amanda Vaughn, who investigated the case.