Florida Man Pleads Guilty to Tax Evasion of Nearly $500K
NORFOLK, Va. – Napoleon Robinson, 65, of Lauderhill, Florida, pleaded guilty yesterday evening to charges of evasion of employment tax payment.
According to the statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, between Jan. 2000 and Dec. 2013, Robinson owned and operated a series of ship welding and repair businesses in New York and Virginia. Beginning in 2005, Robinson began to fall habitually behind on paying over to the IRS the employment taxes withheld from his employees. Rather than make arrangements to pay as required, Robinson simply closed down one ship repair company and opened a new one in the name of a nominee owner – including his sister, his teenaged niece, and a good friend. Robinson himself, however, ran these companies and made all financial and personnel decisions. Eventually, the IRS caught on to Robinson’s employment tax “pyramiding” scheme and opened an investigation into his series of businesses. In the course of that investigation, Robinson made material false statements to the IRS Revenue Officer and otherwise attempted to impede IRS’s collection efforts. The total tax due and owing resulting from Robinson’s serial ownership of these ship repair companies is just shy of $500,000.
Robinson was charged by a criminal information on August 12, and faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison when sentenced on Jan. 25, 2017. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; and Thomas Jankowski, Special Agent in Charge, Washington, D.C. Field Office, IRS-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) made the announcement after the plea was accepted by U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert J. Krask. Assistant U.S. Attorney V. Kathleen Dougherty is prosecuting the case.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:16cr111.