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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Michigan

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Oxford Business Owner Sentenced To AYear In Prison For Role In Conspiracy ToFile False Tax Returns

A business owner from Oxford was sentenced to a year in prison for filing false tax returns and conspiring to file false tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced today.

McQuade was joined in the announcement by Jarod Koopman, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation.

U.S. District Judge Arthur J. Tarnow imposed the sentence on Randal Bellestri, 57.  Judge Tarnow also ordered Bellestri to pay a fine of $500,000.00.

Bellestri pleaded guilty in June to filing false tax returns and conspiracy to file false tax returns with the IRS. According to court records, his company, Odyssey, Inc. of Lake Orion, produces machine tools for the aviation industry.  Between 2000 and 2009, Bellestri had an agreement with an employee at Odyssey regarding the sale of scrap metal left over from Odyssey’s manufacturing operations. Bellestri authorized the employee to serve as a contact with the scrap metal buyer and to collect the proceeds from the sales in cash. The proceeds were then divided between Bellestri and the employee.  Bellestri did not claim the cash proceeds from these scrap metal sales as income on his federal income tax returns. Bellestri’s failure to report these cash proceeds for the 2005 through 2008 tax years caused his income to be understated by approximately $2,155,000.

“Every American has a duty to pay their fair share of taxes. The prosecution of Mr. Bellestri, who intentionally concealed income and filed false tax returns, is vital to maintaining public confidence in our tax system,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Jarod Koopman.

The case was investigated by special agents of the IRS-Criminal Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher L. Varner.
Updated March 19, 2015