Owners Of Floral Call Center Charged With Tax Fraud
Andrew Bassaner, age 44 and Vicki Bunchuk, age 44, of Southampton, Pennsylvania were arrested today, when a 27-count indictment was unsealed, which charged the couple with various criminal tax fraud violations including conspiracy to defraud the United States, filing false individual, corporate and employment tax returns and with aiding and assisting in the preparation of false tax returns announced Acting United States Attorney Louis D. Lappen.
According to the indictment, Bassaner and Bunchuk were the managers and owners of Florist Concierge Corporation located in Orlando, Florida. The corporation was initially formed in Pennsylvania, but subsequently incorporated in the State of Florida where it operated a telephone call center and internet service that accepted floral arrangement orders from customers throughout the United States. The indictment further alleges that Bassaner and Bunchuk entered into a contract with Floral Source International, located in Oregon, who managed a national registry of florists, who would fill the initial order for floral arrangement that Bassaner and Bunchuk’s company had contracted to provide.
The indictment alleged further that Bassaner and Bunchuk diverted funds from Florist Concierge which they used to pay personal living expenses and then failed to report the diverted funds as income on their personal income tax returns. The diverted funds were then misclassified as legitimate business expenses on the corporation’s tax returns which resulted in the corporation filing false returns as well. In addition, the indictment charges that Bassaner failed to collect and pay over employment taxes, Federal Insurance Contribution Act Taxes and Federal Unemployment Tax on behalf of employees who worked for Florist Concierge.
If convicted of the crimes charged in the indictment, the Bassaner and Bunchuk face a substantial period of incarceration in addition to a fine. This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation Division and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Floyd J. Miller.
An Indictment, Information or Criminal Complaint is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.