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Justice News

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

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Oxford Man Pleads Guilty To Filing A FalseTax Return & Role In Conspiracy To File False Tax Returns

Randal Bellestri of Oxford, Michigan, owner of Odyssey, Inc. a Lake Orion, MI corporation, pleaded guilty yesterday to one count each of filing false tax returns and conspiring to file false tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service, United States Attorney Barbara McQuade announced today.

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

Bellestri, 57, entered the guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Arthur J. Tarnow.

According to court records, Odyssey, Inc. produces  machine tools for the aviation industry.  Beginning in 2000 and continuing until about 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.  By accepting only cash for the sale of the scrap, Bellestri was able to conceal the receipt of the cash from Odyssey, Inc. as well as the Internal Revenue Service.  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.  IRS-Criminal Investigation will continue to direct its efforts at those individuals who willfully and intentionally violate this known legal duty,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Carolyn Weber.

Bellestri’s sentencing is set for September 16, 2014.  The conspiracy charge carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years and/or a fine of $250,000.  The filing a false tax return charge carries a maximum term of imprisonment of three years and/or a fine of $250,000. 

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